APRIL 2013 NOTEBOOK ENTRY
Months have passed since I produced a notebook entry. There are excuses: some of the time I’ve been ill; some of the time I’ve been dealing with unwell friends and family, looking after them and doing their shopping and ferrying them to and from hospital; some of the time I’ve been so busy with editing I haven’t had time for anything else, such as thinking. Or, for quite a while, writing.
Despite the optimistic tone of my previous notebook entry (when was it? October? November?) I failed to make much further progress on the 18th-century-setting novel. The long-disused creative muscles did creak into action, as previously reported, but my confidence had gone. “I can no longer write effectively,” I decided. Obviously it was necessary to evict that black dog from my shoulder before I could make further headway. What’s the best way to deal with lack of confidence? Answer – join a creative writing class. So, as I indicated in the last notebook entry, I joined a local creative writing class, and I’ve kept going. Not only is it great fun, and a new social circle, it’s also provided just the stimulus I needed. The novel is growing again, and I’ve written three new short stories, two of which I’ve submitted as competition entries. This is the first time in my life I’ve entered a writing competition; I don’t have any expectation of winning but the fact that I felt capable of entering suggests that my confidence problem has been overcome.
What a pity I have to spend so much time on editing work in order to earn some income! Were it not for that, the novel would be growing more rapidly. But at least it’s growing.
A new storytelling group has started in Buxton, some fifteen miles from here, and I attended its first meeting on March 10th, contributing a story to the little group. The next meeting is on April 21st and I intend to be there again. Our own local storytelling group in Glossop met on March 15th and of course I was there. I might put in an appearance at the Matlock Storytelling Café on April 5th, but more exciting is the one-day workshop in Derby on the 20th. This will be run by professional storyteller Sophie Snell, and I’ve already booked a place. I’m going to be taught how to improve my storytelling technique… and who knows, the workshop might pay off in terms of improving my writing as well!Tags: author notebook, mark p henderson