… I’m your woman. Yes if you’ve got a few hundred thousand pounds I’ll write something lyrical for you or someone you love. Even for your dog if you like.
I say this because I have just received gratifyingly enthusiastic criticism for my poetry homework.
Of course I am pleased that an actual poet likes my work. I like her work and keep tapping back to susanutting.co.uk to read ‘Sisterhood’ again.
But we’re both still having to work very hard, unless she’s a secret millionaire.
Susan liked my shortest poem – 8 lines – best. Not a huge help when what I want to write is long fiction.
And of course I couldn’t be more pleased than if I’d won the Man Booker. It’s a good moment.
But it’s also a very confusing and demoralising one. I want to write commercial fiction, even literary commercial fiction, but all the signs and omens are currently suggesting that that’s not necessarily going to be what I can write.
I will keep going with it but I do feel like I’m pushing rocks up a steep hill.
Even my fantastic get out of jail free card – writing in the first person – isn’t necessarily going to work for me. I may have to engage with a limited 3rd person style which means understanding the conventions which constrain that way of writing.
In short, the rocks are winning, pulling me back down, even as I strain to push them on and up.
And then there are the other things I must do which I have been pushing to one side but which are chipping away at my sanity in their implacable not-doneness, like a child interruping a train of thought or conversation, there’s no real peace until you attend to them.