If I was wondering how to sum up 2016 (on the writing front that is) this picture looks as good a one as any to do it: some twinkly lights, friends old and new, writers celebrating stringing a few words together.
At these local events (Story Sunday, Stroud Short Stories, Talking Tales, Novel Nights etc) our audience is made up mainly of other writers – all avidly curious to see who has been chosen to read and what they’ve come up with. Our ‘public’ is chiefly ourselves -and our trusty and long-suffering camp followers, let’s not forget them!
But while the big bad world of commercial publishing sucks its teeth and eats authors, it seems, for breakfast, testing ourselves amongst our peers is a good way to start on wherever we are headed. We may be our own harshest critics, but knowing how hard it can be to chuck out even a very short short story that works, we also love to support each other and give each other praise where praise is due. And despite the inevitable nerves, it’s also a lot of fun.
So whatever else 2017 holds, here’s to writers around the world getting together to please themselves – and each other.
Despite a few lucky and talented (yes you need both) exceptions, there isn’t much money to be made in this game, but we sure as hell are going to enjoy ourselves!
Thanks to everybody who contributed to my writing year .
Happy Christmas one and all!
*photo by Christopher Fielden