Today, although there’s some driving ahead, mostly my job is to read and to think. Read conscientiously, looking at submissions from the lovely Writers Groups I belong to, thinking and reflecting on the turn of phrase, the development of the creative effort. I may snuggle down into reading for pleasure as sleep beckons, but mostly today it’s a bit of work.
Meanwhile, it was also a pleasure to hear about, find and read our niece’s first piece in her new job at Public Source, Pittsburgh, where she reports on her work exploring factual data in the health sphere. In this instance, the facts look to be quotations from interested parties themselves, which are taken from a variety of feeds: Zoom press conferences; Twitter; press releases. All wrapped up in a piece describing some of the political fallout from the Supreme Court’s up-ending of the past fifty years of women’s health care. It appears to be a fascinating exercise in straight reporting, with the bare facts presented, allowing the reader to make up their own mind. Reading the piece, I’m struck by how much my own opinions are formed by those of columnists, as opposed to a personal assessment of the received data of factual reports.
I also have a new shared reading experience to work on; while we wait to become part of the Orbit Writing Group network at the British Science Fiction Association, another intrepid would-be novelist and I are exchanging volumes of effort. That should be very intriguing too. Similar to reading smaller pieces in Writers Groups, but a longer exercise. I’m wondering if it will be possible to suspend critical disbelief and to delve deeply into someone else’s story. I’m hoping so.
I’m looking forward to little fillips of joy, though I imagine too that there will be some hard ploughing as well, as I venture through the stack of work I need to have a perspective on, to share with my fellow writers. I must say, my mind has been opened to earnest effort, during these three years of Writers Group participation, and I feel the better for being able to read kindly.
Along the way, I’d like to think my own capacity for writing has been improving, as a critical voice is honed in my head. Having opened the door to the fierce editor on my shoulder, however, I’m still eager to be cosseting the creative angel on the other side, the one who says, go on, write what you’re feeling.
Still learning the discipline of writing, combining a creative spark with a conscientious editing structure, I hope to finesse my way through the day, picking up little snippets of joy as I go. Looks like quite a period of thought and reflective assessment.