Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The best and worst things - and East London events.

I took part at a library event at East Ham in East London last night - I was part of an author panel chaired by my good friend Jean Fullerton and comprising of myself, Julie Cohen and Catherine Jones (Kate Lace).

The event was supposed to be about 'chick lit' but I must admit, we ended up discussing all sorts of things about our writing, answering very varied questions including what we consider to be the best - and worst - things about being a writer. I didn't find that one too tricky! For me, the best thing is definitely being able to spend my time doing my favourite thing! OK, getting published is the icing on the cake but how many people are lucky enough to be able to spend as much time as they like, doing the thing they enjoy most? (I suppose that's just because I'm retired, of course - but I enjoyed it just as much when it was my relaxation after a hard day at the day-job!).

The other girls came up with some good answers too. Julie said the best thing for her was that feeling you get when the writing's going really well, it flows like magic and the characters just seem to take over. I think we can all agree with that - although sadly it doesn't happen all the time, does it! Catherine said the best feeling is when you hold your published book in your hands for the first time. Oh yes, I agree with that one too! The thrill never wears off. (But sadly that doesn't happen as often as we'd like, either!)

And the worst thing? For me, it has to be the fact that we never stop getting the rejections and disappointments, however many stories or books we've had published. The waiting, the endless waiting, only to be told it's 'no' again!

Because I'd already agreed to take part in the event last night, I regretfully turned down an invitation to go back to East London tonight, for the Awards ceremony of the Big Red Read - which my book 'Short Nothings' was shortlisted for. It's a pity as I'd like to have gone - but I'm sure I'll hear all about it from some of the other RNA authors who were shortlisted, and who I think are going to be there. I'll let you know as soon as I hear the results.


  1. I agree with you about the waiting and the just not knowing if it's going to be another 'No'

  2. I agree that the best feeling is when the writing is going well but what keeps you going when it's not?

  3. I know, Jarmara. I think the only way round the 'waiting game' is always to get on with the next book or the next story and try to put it out of your mind.

    Hello Pat! Personally, when it's not going well I just have to grit my teeth and keep writing anyway. I think the trick is always to get to the end by fair means or foul (often foul!) and then take a deep breath and go back & start editing and rewriting! How about you?