Writers Victoria: Session 1
As part of my Quest to Find Meaning, I applied to do a mentorship with Writers Victoria. I love those guys. They are dream enablers, with all those courses to teach you how to satisfy that little person inside you who has always wanted to be a writer. I’ve been a member for about three years and have never gone to a single event, but have often flipped my wallet open to reveal my membership card. ‘Oh yes,’ I say, ‘as a writer, it’s important for me to be a member.’
Tonight I had my first Skype session, talking through my 6000 word excerpt with Bethanie Blanchard from Crikey’s Lit-icism. I was immediately compelled to turn off my video, as she was clean and beautiful and I looked like I’d been attacked with a ham. Then we did the thing with our brains where I said what I was trying to say and she said what she thought I had said.
You know sometimes you spend a lot of time on something in the faraway hope that someone else will appreciate it, maybe, if you’re not too awful a person? In some ways I am quite self-assured, going about my day thinking I’m okay at some of the things. But when it comes to writing, I am (as many writers are, I’m sure) never convinced that anything I do is much short of completely dreadful. Intellectually I know that the words I put together convey the message I was hoping for some of the time. But at a spiritual level I am always just waiting for the time someone taps me on the shoulder and says, ‘Anna, we’ve decided you should stop now.’
Tonight, and maybe it is a bit uncouth to say this aloud, but this extraordinarily lovely woman told me she had read what I’d written and that it was beautiful and polished. That no sentences were wasted. And that she “struggled to fault [my] prose.” After I’d hung up the Skype call and done a little dance on Twitter, I sat at my desk and I cried and cried.
(You would be right in thinking this is something that I do a lot. I have developed a special funnel that goes from my eye sockets to the bin next to my filing cabinet, to avoid unnecessary spillages.)
After the past few months of hiding in the dark, it gave me such a lift to think that my life’s great goal might still be intact.
(See you tomorrow from inside my bedroom, where I’ve made reasonably good friends with the monsters.)