The observant among you have noticed that I haven’t been here for a while. Here are the headlines of what’s been happening since my last post on 8 April. I:
- finished the first draft of my second novel, a clean heart
- wrote a short story
- attended four Friday afternoon writing classes (output so far: three poems)
- signed up for an online course on blogging run by Women Writers School; attended the first webinar
- edited a short story and sent it off for consideration for Story Shop in the Edinburgh International Book Festival
- started my application for a 2018 Scottish Book Trust new writers award (goodness, that came round again quickly)
What? Oh, you noticed that, did you? Yes, that’s right. No submissions to agents. Which was, after all, the point of this whole process.
I’ve heard of writer’s block (and seem to be blessedly immune from it), but I appear to be suffering from something I haven’t heard of: submission block.
When I’m really struggling with something I always turn for advice to the greatest philosopher of the twentieth century: Winnie the Pooh.
In my favourite Pooh story, In which Tigger comes to the Forest and has breakfast, Pooh has to try to find something that Tigger likes to eat. This is tricky. Each time Tigger is offered something he says, ‘that’s what Tiggers like best’, but it transpires that he doesn’t like Pooh’s honey, nor Piglet’s haycorns. And he really, really doesn’t like Eeyore’s thistles:
‘Are these really thistles?’ he whispered.
‘Yes,’ said Pooh.
‘What Tiggers like best?’
‘That’s right,’ said Pooh.
‘I see,’ said Tigger. So he took a large mouthful and he gave a large crunch. ‘Ow!’ said Tigger. He sat down and put his paw to his mouth.
‘What’s the matter?’ asked Pooh.
‘Hot!’ mumbled Tigger.
‘Your friend,’ said Eeyore, ‘appears to have bitten on a bee.’
Eventually, Tigger discovers that what Tiggers like best is Roo’s strengthening medicine (malt extract).
I’ve been trying to eat thistles. My search for the equivalent of Roo’s strengthening medicine continues.