I’ve learnt a lot from my feedback for assignment three of Writing Short Fiction. It wasn’t as glowing as previous feedback, and looking back through what I had submitted I can see why. You may remember from previous posts that I’ve been struggling with everything lately. In hindsight I should have taken a break earlier, rather than pushing myself to beat a deadline that exists for no one but myself.
The main things I’ve learnt are
- Don’t get distracted by form. The story has to be king.
- Write what you know. Yes, I’m still trying to write in a way that I think is perhaps a little more clever, or literary. I need to stop it.
- Be authentic.
- Stop when I know I should stop.
I think I’ve read so many things saying there is no such thing as writers block and I should just write through it ( which I agree with), that I have tried to apply the same to M.E.. Foolish. As a wise woman said to me, “you rest your body, so you need to rest your mind”. Those who know me know my mind is full of four hundred and eighty-seven things at once, so this is a challenge. I have taken the challenge up, and now spend ten minutes each morning watching the birds from my window. Just watching the birds. Not thinking about things I wish I’d said, or what I need to put on the shopping list. Just watching the birds eat and flutter and fight and generally be wonderful. Pulling my mind back every time it wanders is hard, but I hope it will help me to learn to focus on one thing. Ridiculously, the only time I truly focus is when I write. Not resting stops me doing the one thing that means my mind is less fragmented.
I am seeing benefits already my brain seems to be coming back to itself. I’ve given myself a less punishing schedule for the rest of my course, and I hope that I will be writing well again soon. The nagging pressure of trying to succeed is still here ( as it should be), but I feel I have cleared a pathway that was getting overgrown.
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