When you’re writing, do you feel like a story lives in you and nags at you until it has been told? This has been my experience lately. I’ve been working on a short story about a woman whose eyes are opened by a child she meets in a hospital. But then, another story came to me. The inspiration was the photo above – the acacia or wattle flower. Whether through serendipity or coincidence, I started writing the story on September 1, which in Australia is Wattle Day – that connection only came to me later.
A voice started to emerge – the voice of Jane, a young girl who meets a new girl in town called Acacia. What’s emerging is a story about the “mind your own business” mentality when it comes to what’s going on in other peoples’ homes. I’m about two-thirds through – just hitting that point when I have to rely on discipline because self-doubt is kicking in, as it is wont to do. I found this blog post from author Natasha Lester to be encouraging in this regard: “What’s more important for writers: self-belief or self-discipline?” From the early feedback I’ve had, I need to trust myself on this one. And keep writing.
I’m looking forward to attending the New Norcia Writers Festival this weekend. It’s taking place in a gorgeous Benedictine Monastery and will include talks, monastery tours, a recital, and a buffet lunch (hopefully with some of the famous New Norcia sourdough).
The following weekend I’ll be heading down south on a one-day research trip for my novel. It’s been on the backburner while I finish the short stories, but I’m quite excited about getting stuck into it again.
How’s your writing going?
Reading-wise, I finished Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and started the sequel Bring Up the Bodies. I’ve also just finished Sophie Hannah’s A Game for all the Family and Tony Cavanaugh’s Kingdom of the Strong. Reviews of the latter two will be on Write Note Reviews this week.
Here are a few photos I took over the past week (I’m sharing some taken on a wildflower walk separately). Click on the images for more detail.