Hi everyone, I’m happy to say I’ve now finished the revamp, line edits and proofreading I was doing on one of my books and sent it off to my publisher.
I’d like to say it was a pleasant experience – and parts of it were, like getting acquainted with my characters and falling in love with the world all over again – but on the whole it made me question every aspect of my writing ability, particularly my grammar. I didn’t know it was possible to spend hours agonising over the correct usage of was and were (look up subjunctive mood, and you’ll see what I mean – technically the rule is fairly simple, but I have oodles of self-doubt), but apparently it is. Even after I sent the manuscript off (after reading and re-reading and fretting back and forth), I was still worried I’d got it wrong (‘it’ being the entirety of my grammar usage).
So my conclusion regarding having to do line edits and proofreading on my own work is that I never want to do it again. Hopefully, this was a one-off scenario and whatever is happening with the editing team at my publisher gets sorted, so I won’t have to. Still, I honestly felt like I was losing my mind.
The other side of it is that now I have finished, I’m not sure what to do with myself. Which is a little ridiculous because I know full well that I need a break, but for some reason my sense of self-worth and achievement is so thoroughly linked to my productivity that I can’t shake it. I think I was relieved for all of ten minutes after I hit send, then the overwhelming heaviness of ‘What am I going to do now?’ hit me and I spent a good few hours stimming and being lost in my thoughts.
Anyway, now I’ve expressed my thoughts on all that, it’s time for something a bit lighter. I thought I’d share with you the first piece of writing I had published, which is a poem I wrote when I was ten.
My primary school encouraged years five and six (I think it was both, but I’m not quite sure) to write a poem for an anthology called Poetic Voyages, created by an organisation called Young Writers. I think quite a few kids in my class submitted a poem, but only some were chosen. This is the cover of the one my poem is in, as there were separate anthologies put together for each region. It was published in 2002:
On the back it says:
Young Writers was established in 1991 to encourage the reading and writing of poetry by young people.
Young Writers’ books nurture interest and confidence by giving young people the opportunity to see their work in print in a series of regional anthologies.
The books represent a generation of voices having their say on a wide range of themes from home and school to the environment and sport.
These anthologies are a showcase for the writing talent in schools today.
And here’s a bit more info:
Lastly, here’s my actual poem in all its glory…
(The note about whisky in the last line was supposed to be in brackets, but my pa said it’d look better without. I still think brackets would be more effective.)
It’s interesting that, considering the wide range of topics I could have written about, I chose to write about ghosts and school. Perhaps my ‘ghost’ was actually a metaphor for how terrified I was at school (if you haven’t seen my previous posts, I was severely bullied at school by one of my teachers, and quite a few of the kids too. It was not a happy time for me). That, or I’d just been watching Ghostbusters or The Frighteners. Who knows.
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