On days like this.

On days like this I compose reviews of my (non-existent) short story collection in my mind. I caught myself doing this just now, as I lugged wet washing to the line. The reviews aren’t harsh – they’re tepid, like milk left out too long. They say things like: While the stories are generally well-written, they are also stolid and unsurprising.

I realised what I was doing and stopped. I looked for the silver lining and congratulated myself for at least imagining a published anthology. But I know those negative thoughts are there, I know the limp reviewer hasn’t gone very far.

It’s a mug’s game, this writing gig. We write and re-write, edit and edit some more, send out our precious baby (manuscript/story/poem), and often don’t even hear back at all. Nothing. Not even a form rejection. Who would do this to themselves?!

And yet there’s that world we inhabit when we write, the places we create exactly as we please. We play with words and mix them up and tumble them into sentences. We bring characters, places, stories to life. It’s an enormous joy and I truly love to write.

Fellow writers, may your week be free of negativity and filled with writing bliss!


6 thoughts on “On days like this.

  1. I suspect every writer would be nodding their head as they read this, Fi! The things my critic says to me—You’re too old. You don’t have an English degree. Hell, you weren’t even any good at English at school. You don’t have a vocabulary. Your words are too simple. Your sentences are too short.
    We’re our own harshest critics, and there’s no silencing that mean beast! Luckily, we write on regardless because there’s that other self who just can’t give it up, no matter what the critic thinks of us. x

  2. I’m so glad you caught yourself doing this, because some people are not even aware of having this kind of thoughts. The mind, the inner critic will do that all the time. The question is what do we do about it. Yes, of course, carrying on writing irrespective of those voices is definitely one way to go. But also giving them voice on paper might be a good exercise. Because the voice is there, right? You might as well let it rage on paper, and I promise when it returns the next time, it won’t be as loud. Great post. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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