Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Kingfisher Barn

Okay, off from tomorrow for a five day writing workshop at Alex Keegan's Kingfisher Barn. This is where story writing gets brutal, so I'm told... Alex is a very experienced writer who runs Boot Camp, where I've been an online member for a year or so. This is the first face-to-face gathering I've been involved with, so I'm ever so slightly nervous... We're very honest and upfront online - we trash each other's stories on a fortnightly basis - and it won't be any different in the flesh, I'm sure. Fortunately I work in local government so I'm used to people screaming at me. More than that, I work in service improvement, so I even have our own staff screaming at me, along with the public.

I haven't been able to write much creative stuff this year so far. I've done plenty words - over 1000 per day - but it's all been crits and general writing, rather than my own stuff. I wrote 500+ words tonight, which is my first for the year. I'm hoping the weekend course will unlock more writing as well.

My problem is that I have two stories bubbling at the moment. One is written, but it isn't right. It half works but not completely, and the damned thing is haunting me. It did from the start - it came from a dream - and even after having written it I can't forget it. The other is one that feels important to me, and for that reason it's frightening me, to the extent that I keep putting the damned thing away. I tell myself - 'leave it a while, let the idea ferment, it'll be all the better for it.'

But I don't think that's true. It would have been much better to write the whole damned thing when I first thought of it, when it was in my brain, when I could properly feel it. But now I'm left with this story which means a lot to me, but I'm struggling to put into words.

There's a lesson for writers: when you have the idea and the impetus, write the fucking story. Don't listen to those voices which say 'leave it for now, come back to it later, it will be all the richer for doing that.'

It won't. It never will.

Anyway, I won't be back online for a week or so. Keep reading and keep writing. And I'll be back next week...

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