Writing again

Today I took a picture book I wrote a couple of years ago and started playing with the idea of it as a longer book for 7 – 9 year olds. I think the idea will hold up, I just wasn’t sure if I had the character’s voice. But I decided to follow the advice I keep reading and JUST WRITE. And actually there he was, on the page. And he made me laugh. And when I nervously read it to OH he laughed too.

And it did feel good to write again.

I’ve got 7 picture books ready to submit and I finished my first middle grade novel in May which is currently with readers. But since finishing that I have been wrestling with the Nay Sayer in my head. Which is particularly vexing because didn’t I say at the start of this process, ‘ If I can just finish this book I’ll have proved I can do it. Finally I will have proved to myself and that’ll be that. There’ll be no stopping me.’ ?

And yet here I am. I’ve finished a whole book and yet the nagging voice has just found something else to latch onto. ‘Yeah but that was a fluke.’

So how did I get back to the page today?

Well after summer hols and with the kids back at school, I have cleaned the kitchen, sorted the attic, decluttered, read blogs, got all my picture book submissions in the post, and read A LOT.

But I’ve been grumpy and crabby with a head full of:

‘You cant expect anything to come of these submissions’

‘You managed it once but don’t think you’ll write anymore’

‘You’re living in cloud cuckoo land if you think that’s going to sell’

Then lying in bed the other night I just saw my Creative Self slumped under the weight of all this jibing jabber. This ‘Me’ chained up by it all. Deflated, fed up, looking miserable and I thought:

‘And I really expect you to turn up and create something? With this barrage of non-stop bullying?’

I felt pretty sorry for my Creative Self, actually. So I decided to be a bit kinder. Take a bit more care of her.

But the first step was noticing she was there and feeling miserable.

Earlier in the year I joined The Big Writing School run by Suzy Greaves and I have to say I’ve got to know a lot more about my Inner Critic and how to deal with her thanks to Suzy!

I have called her ‘Lady Blah Blah’.


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