Friday, 28 January 2011

X is for 'Xceptional

And yes I know I am cheating, but I got stuck as I didn’t fancy writing about X-rated today!

Last night I attended a reading hosted by Myriad Publications at Hove library. I am partial to listening to writers read their work and listening to Isabel Ashdown read sections from 'Glasshopper' was very enjoyable. It was wonderful being transported back to life in the late fifties and early seventies, through two narrators: Jake a young boy and his mother as a young girl. I have added this book to my ‘must read list’ which I have to say grows steadily, week by week. And I would recommend it to you to read.

When you write do you know when it is good or even exceptional? I have found that not all writers can hear how good their work is and yet during writing group sessions, I have been staggered by how varied and wonderful the writing can be and despite my efforts to reassure a fellow writer that their work deserves praise, I can see and feel the reticence.

I am learning to trust that I am improving as a writer but there are moments of doubt. I know I am happy to embrace constructive criticism especially when I can see why it is being said, and how it would improve my work. Back in 2008 I wrote a book in a sandstorm of activity. It was one of the weirdest experiences of my life. I knew I had to write it and I did. But now it sits hiding in a bottom drawer. Once I have completed ‘Letting Go’ and determined its fate then I will endeavour to review the first book. I will cringe at my early attempt but I think I know how to fix it now.

So for me being exceptional can mean one of two things: that what I want to achieve is not so out of the ordinary because I aspire to be a published novelist and secondly, that if several writers are given a topic, no two accounts would be similar, because we all show immense creativity in the way we deal with any one subject and for me that is exceptional.

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