I've been writing. Writing (almost) every day. Writing quietly. Ordinarily, I like to have a lot of time being quiet. Like to wrap myself in it like a duvet. But lately, I've had to: life has been noisy, consuming, worrying. Exhausting. So, when I can, I've retreated into my world with my characters and their familiar problems. Their world is often noisy and dramatic. But their conflicts are under my control. And I can always get a character to tell them all to 'shush'!
In this quiet way, I wrote a whole novel (at the moment, called The Sister of the Boy Who) and had Imogen Cooper and Abi Kohlhoff at the Golden Egg Academy read it. They had plenty to say, most of it good, with Imogen's parting comment being a worry, that the story was a 'little too quiet.' I didn't miss the irony. Stakes raised after serious editing, I sent it off to my agent, Kate Shaw. The Young Adult market is tough, she tells me. She's not sure how well my take on modern day realism will fair right now. At least she didn't mention how 'quiet' it is.
Perhaps once her caution would have worried me or dragged me down. Once I'd have asked myself: Then why am I writing? Who are these stories for if they never get published? But now I send the story off into the world, still with hope (there's always hope) but without the same expectation I might have had a few years ago. It's enough, you see, to just write. To love it. To be in my world of words and be quiet within it.
With The Sister of the Boy Who now temporarily out of my hands, I've begun another, one that's been brewing for a while - working title Outside In. I need to be writing, need to be creating, need to be quiet. It's a gift to myself. It's enough.