The latest issue of “Scribble” magazine arrived in the post this week, and editor David Howarth writes in his From the Editor’s Desk… piece that this is the time of year when submissions generally tend to slow down. As he puts it, “there are obviously alternative attractions during the summer months so writing sometimes takes second place”.
And I believe he is right. Whilst I’m still putting pen to paper (or more usually, fingertips to keyboard), my output is not quite as prolific as it might be in the winter months. More importantly, it is not as focused. My submissions to magazines have tailed off recently, and the stories I have sent are not necessarily ‘hot off the press’ as it were, but re-workings of old beginnings, or old ideas. And though I’ve still been taking time to keep up with other blogs, I’ve not written much here for ages.
So, what is distracting me? Yes, the better weather means it’s much more tempting to be in the veg garden, or with the horses. And there’s lots of work to be done outside – we’re hoping to make our own hay for the first time this year, which might not sound exciting, but believe me, I can’t wait!
I have to admit though, that there’s a part of me which thinks all these outside tasks are a bit of a displacement activity. I’ve been in a bit of a rut with writing over the last few weeks. A few rejections in a row. Not really having settled to any big writing projects. General feelings of self-doubt. You know the type of thing.
So, it was with incredulity that I read Shirley Blair’s email this evening accepting one of my stories for People’s Friend. Honestly, I had to read the message several times over to believe that it was an acceptance (I’d been very doubtful about that particularly story’s suitability!). Typically, Shirley’s message was upbeat and enthusiastic – the perfect tonic to my writing gloom!
So big thank you to Shirley. As I noted down the acceptance in my “Submissions” book, I realised I’ve hardly any other stories “out there” still awaiting a decision. It’s time to get down to some serious writing work.
But probably not until after hay-making! 😉