When the Blogosphere Speaks, I Listen

I love it when the blogosphere speaks to me personally. Over on my good friend Di Bate’s blog Writing for Children, author Sherryl Clark is writing a post for me. Not that Sherryl knows that!

The post is called When Writers Resign. It talks about the ups and downs of this writing life and why most writers keep writing  through them all because ultimately we need to create. It also talks about how, like with any other job, we really can can resign if we want to.

I have been heading further and further out into the writing wilderness for the last three years. I didn’t choose for life to go that way. My youngest son became very sick with symptoms that no-one could fully explain. Everything fell in the ‘diagnosis by exclusion’ bucket and there’s no effective for those. Some things helped but the things that constrained his life were always there. And so was I. All day and often multiple times through the night. My days were a round of specialists, medication, painkillers, home schooling and hot water bottles. Half way through I got sick too. It was hard to write with a life like that.

I’m much better now and in recent weeks my son has seen the first improvement ever. I am gradually inching my way back from the wilderness. I always had a lifeline. The Samurai Kids series had its own momentum, there were always books to be written and in the worst of times I still managed two. The last one, Black Tengu, was released on September 1 and I’m proud to say its the best of them all.

But at the same time I decided to make it even harder to walk out of the wilderness. I shot myself in the foot. I started a new manuscript. One outside my comfort zone. One that was hard to write.  But it was a story I loved and a story I believed in. I kept going. For a few weeks recently I wondered if I was in the middle of what Sherryl refers to as the story that just won’t work and has to be abandoned years later.

Image from http://laughingsquid.com/

But again the blogosphere spoke to me. Over at LaughingSquid.com is a post “Hand in Hand, Writers Share Advice in Notes on Their Own Hands. It’s an April 2013 post but it’s been waiting there for me. First up is Neil Gaiman, an author whose writing I not only admire but whose writing about writing always strikes me with its truth. There were three points on Neil’s hand. Number 2 was for me. Finish things.

I should have known this. I’d already been told. I’d even filed the wisdom away. Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules for Writing.

There’s a lot of editing and rewriting involved with my current manuscript, but I’m getting closer to the finish. And I feel good.

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