Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Issue 2 Out Now!

Yesterday I took delivery of Issue 2 of The Yellow Room Magazine. It will be posted out to subscribers before the end of the week. If you don't subscribe and fancy taking a look, then please send a cheque for £5.50 made payable to J M Derrick, 1 Blake Close, Bilton, Rugby CV22 7LJ or you can visit the website (www.theyellowroom-magazine.co.uk) and pay online. I have just one copy of Issue 1 left.

We had a lovely relaxing time in Suffolk and were so lucky with the weather. It was warm, sunny and dry all week. It was so good to have time away to take a long, hard look at 'my life', which sounds very deep and meaningful. I think I'm going through a mid-life crisis. I feel as if I'm at a crossroads and don't know which road to take. I'm having serious doubts about my ability as a writer and wonder if writing is what I really want to do. I love editing the magazine, so that is something I will continue to do. However, I'm not sure I have the talent, motivation or the staying power to be a real writer. I find it all so demoralising. There are so many brilliant writers out there and getting published is so damn hard! Do I want it enough to persevere? I'm not sure that I do.

It worries me that I have no driving ambition to do or be anything in particular. I think I'm rapidly turning into my mother who was happy to stay at home, do housework (okay, maybe not exactly like her) and read/do puzzles. What's wrong with me? Aaargh......

7 comments:

Sue said...

Hi there Jo! Glad you had a great holiday in Suffolk. It's a great county full of creativity - writers, poets, artists, composers...

Now then, I couldn't help comment on your post today. First off, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU! Secondly, it is a terrible indictment of feminism if our battle for choice has turned into yet another rod for our own backs. Forty years ago most women stayed at home. Many of them would have rather been off and doing something else, like running a multinational, but equally as many I suspect were perfectly happy keeping house, caring for their family, reading, thinking, and doing puzzles, like your Mum. Nothing was wrong with that if that was what you wanted to do! It was for those who fancied the opportunity to do something different that the battle for choice and equality was fought. The point being, that you shouldn't feel bad for enjoying what women have done since time immemorial! If you choose it, enjoy it. Anyway, you are not only doing those things, you do all sorts of other things too!

My third point (should I have asked for a guest slot?!) is about your thoughts on writing. I think you need to separate out your doubts about your ability from your thoughts about your desires. Some questions that might help: Do you have to be published/acknowledged to be successful? Do you have to write a certain way to 'be a writer'? I tend to think that you are either a writer or not a writer, and that it is more a case of being a practising or non-practising writer (same for artists). If it is the simple joy of creating a piece of writing that motivates you, you have the perfect outlet for it here! Why not write more for us to enjoy? Or keep it private, and just enjoy the process.

I don't know if any of this will help, but I felt very motivated to comment after reading your impassioned post. Don't give up on yourself Jo - enjoy who you are!

XXX

Joanna said...

There's no need to make a decision. Just enjoy each day of your life by doing what suits you best at the time. If some days produce stories, that's fantastic. Other days will bring forth different pleasures and will be creative in other ways. It is important to do what makes you happy, because then your family will be happy too. Forget about decisions and just enjoy yourself. Spontaneity usually brings a lot of happiness, so let each day bring its own different rewards to you by embarking upon pursuits that fit your mood. And never feel bad about doing puzzles etc. we all deserve quiet time to ourselves every day.

claires inner world said...

Hi Jo, Sorry to hear you've been feeling a bit down. I can't say it better than Sue, really, but don't beat yourself up about your writing. You talk about being a 'real writer'. As far as I'm concerned, if you're writing, and enjoying it, and maybe givig other people pleasure from it, then you ARE a 'real' writer. Getting published is another matter, and I can understand how you may not want to continue on that quest.. I think as you get older, you start making decisions based on what you actually want, rather than what you think you 'should' be doing. Anyway, chin up. I'm sure you'll make the right decisions in the end. I do enjoy reading your blog and am looking forward to the next edition of the Yellow Room. xx

Captain Black said...

Not a great deal to add to Sue's comments, but...

I suspect, if you're anything like the rest of us aspiring writers, then you won't be able to give up writing, even if you think you want to at the moment. In any case, I would like to encourage you to keep going. Write whatever you like for reasons that suit you. Publication is an obvious goal and a great bonus when it happens. As I've discovered though, the road there is a long one. In the mean time I'm just enjoying the journey.

The blog community has helped me to break through times of self-doubt (or just laziness), so I hope I can return the favour in some way. You've been good enough to review some of my work for free on the weekly workouts. Perhaps I can help with some of yours? Be advised I'm no magazine editor, so it would be strictly amateur's feedback.

Good luck with all of your endeavours, writing and otherwise.

debutnovelist said...

Jo
First of all, great news on Issue 2- waiting excitedly for it to arrive - and those that will follow, now that I have a sub. As regards the writing thing - I think the others have said it all. Despite the setbacks and relapses into demoralisation, I don't think I could stop without serious imjury to my sanity. Hope you feel less troubled soon.
AliB

Jo said...

What can I say? I feel so privileged to receive such supportive and encouraging comments. You're all lovely! I felt so much better once I'd written my blog and contacted a few friends who all had very similar advice. Thank you all. Knowing I'm not alone in having these negative thoughts really helps. I've vowed to do more writing, because I do enjoy it once I actually sit down and write! Thank you to Captain Black for offering to critique my work. I'm not sure I'm brave enough....

Quillers said...

I can't really add anymore than has already been said, Jo.

Other than that you're not the only writer going through this at the moment. My own writing output at the moment is very low, and I'm usually quite prolific. I blogged about it the other week, and so many other writers I know - many of them excellent at what they do - are going through a bit of a crisis of confidence.

You don't have to make a decision to do anything about the writing. If it's there, it will find you again. If it isn't, then from what I can glean about you from this blog, you will find something else equally fulfilling.