The Blue Sea

That’s it, the entry for the mentorship scheme has been sent. I could have sat and twiddled about with it more and more by moving individual words about into a different order to make it seem better but I would be kidding myself. The deadline is this Friday at 5pm, I did not want to be running around like a banshee pulling it all together in the final moments. There was a moment when Yahoo Mail wasn’t allowing me to put hyperlinks into the text. My wife detected me stressing and calmly advised just shutting down Chrome and going back in. This seemed to work.

I received an email back within half an hour saying that my entry had been noted. Apparently there are six spots in the scheme but really, for me, there’s only five because they’ve guaranteed one slot for somebody under the age of 24. This is probably a really good way of running it as there have been plenty of times recently when I’ve read about various writing schemes, thought it sounded great before realising that I’m far too old for the age range they’re open to. Seems like sometimes there’s a belief that if you haven’t made it by your mid 20’s then you’re never going to make it at all.

The personal statement I wrote was written, scrapped, written again and then changed about before finalising. Originally I went with something really formal like it was a job application. Then I wrote something that was very similar to the ‘About’ page on this site but that gave a bit too much history and I’d ran out of words before answering why I would benefit from mentorship. In the end I went for a story about how working a day job whilst having ambitions of writing for a living is a little bit like accidentally getting off the train at the station before the one you wanted. You’re on the right line but you’ve no choice but to wait for the next train to come along. It felt a bit strange putting that in there but it’s a writing based mentorship so they’ll be used to metaphors. At least I hope they are.

The response email signed off by saying that they’re running this every year and there are plans afoot to expand to more than 6 spaces as of 2020. Apparently there’s nothing to stop me applying again next year if unsuccessful this time around. I’m not sure if that’s a set up for a gentle let down later or not but I’m beyond caring now. Quite simply something that a week ago I was convincing myself wasn’t worth it because they wouldn’t want me is now something I’ve entered with the best of my current ability. I’ve honestly probably put more effort into this than any job application I’ve ever done.

For now though we crack on with the rewrite.

Click Rat

No progress on the book today but there is a very good reason. I’ve spent all day stressing over a five hundred word personal statement for an application. It’s not for a job but it’s more for this.

http://www.wigtownbookfestival.com/opportunities/mentoring-programme-writers-dumfries-galloway

I tripped up on this on Twitter the other night thankfully. I am indeed a Dumfries and Galloway based writer (I was even born here) and I am indeed halfway through a rather large writing project. With that in mind some professional guidance would be very much appreciated.

I had to get over my usual problem of a voice in my head telling me that I need not bother because I’m probably not what they’re looking for anyway. I’m writing a hokey science fiction book with a Scottish sense of humour in it. The doubter in me said that they’d probably want something deadly serious. I was better not bothering, it would be a waste of time.

But that’s the part that’s spent a good few years in control and got me bugger all.

So I’m entering this regardless of if they want hokey Scottish science fiction or not.

Because they can just say ‘No’ right?

Playing In Coventry

I don’t think I’m a very morning writer.

Everybody else had left the house this morning by about 9am. I went for a shower, got something to eat, put some washing in the machine and then sat in front of my computer ready to go. I was then overcome with the feeling that if I started now then I’d be here all day and I wouldn’t have really moved from this spot. I stared at my screen for a few moments, put my jacket on and walked to the local coffee shop for a cappuccino. I was gone for about an hour before returning and rewriting another chapter.

The question I’d have is what exactly do other writers work on first during the initial rewrite? I’m currently more concerned with structure rather than any of the finer details. These first few chapters contain all of the character introductions as well and because I have a better idea where they end up it’s much easier to give them a better introduction. There is still some awkward¬† dialogue going on but I’ll be going back and cleaning that up later.

For now though progress is good and there’s certainly a book emerging from all of this.