Some Things Can’t Be Rushed

slowThere are some things that can’t be rushed.

Poetry, for example and short stories. They won’t just ‘come’ will they, when you try to do them in a hurry? At least, mine won’t. I’m slow. Mine take ages to develop, evolve and ‘ferment’. Which is why I’m kicking myself that I didn’t start work on a story for the Commonwealth Writers Short Story competition at least a couple of weeks ago.

The deadline’s midday tomorrow, so I’ve got no chance now. I’m going to polish up an old story and send that, even though I know it’s got NO chance (and they don’t publish short or long lists either), but I’ll be annoyed with myself if I don’t send something.

Imagine: Jeanette Winterson

And, changing the subject completely, tomorrow night there’s another of those ‘Imagine’ programmes on TV (10.35pm on BBC 1) – this time about writer Jeanette Winterson, author of ‘Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit‘, amongst many others (you have read that, haven’t you?)

I’ll be watching, if only to see if Jeanette mentions seeing me at Daylesford back in August.

No, I’m joking. It’ll be interesting. (She demonstrates how to live in a mini, for example).

Update: It WAS interesting. If you missed it, you can catch it for the next couple of weeks on iplayer, here.

I like her website, particularly her ‘columns’ in which she says some wise and beautiful things. On Autumn (which she loves): “I have a hedgehog under the shed, a woodpecker in the wood, and more stars than God. Or at least the same number.”

And in her ‘FAQs’ section on the website, there’s this:

I want to be a writer. What should I do?

Write.

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13 Responses to Some Things Can’t Be Rushed

  1. Jiltaroo says:

    Yes that’s what I keep telling myself! I love Daylesford! One of my most favourite places Will try to remember to watch! Jen

  2. Heather Musk says:

    I enjoyed the Ian Rankin episode, so will probably give this a go too. I must admit I’d not heard of her before so thanks for the tip.

    • Heather, you must be very young if you haven’t heard of her (I’m only jealous). Some of her later stuff is a bit ‘weird’ (she changes her style of writing all the time), but I can really recommend ‘Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit’ – she was only 25 when it was published, to great acclaim, it’s semi-autobiographical and very funny in parts.

  3. Patsy says:

    I live her question and answer!

  4. Maggie May says:

    The ‘Imagine’ programmes have been excellent so far, so I’ll be watching this one, although I must admit to not having heard of her, and I am NOT young!

    Glad the snowman is back again, and the falling snowflakes.

    • Maggie, glad you like the snowman and snow! I suddenly looked at my header and thought it was time for the leaves to go!! (and the snow just came back of its own accord, without me doing anything! How good is that?!)

  5. Jiltaroo says:

    I was out to dinner…were you mentioned?

  6. I love the snow theme, and I’m glad you say that you can’t rush stories. I thought it was only me who takes a while. It’s fatal when you talk about something as well, everyone says ‘well, when can we read it?’ Best to keep quiet sometimes I think and say, I’m a p.a. to a solicitor.

  7. Linda says:

    Pleased I’m not the only slow writer! Most of my stories have to ferment for days – or weeks, or months! – in my head before I feel they’re ready to make their way on to paper or computer screen.
    I missed the Imagine programme, but I’ve just followed your link to JW’s website and it is very impressive.

    • Linda If you missed it (and it was good!) you can catch it on i-player. I’ll put a link on later! (between you and me I think all the good stories take an age to write! I’ve just sent one off that’s been bubbling around inside my head for about a year. Finally got it written!)

  8. Jo Tiddy says:

    I found it thought-provoking that if she’d not been adopted by that ghastly woman she may have ended up being a seamstress…..

    • Yes, Jo, I agree. But she kind of came to that conclusion didn’t she, when she said ‘I got the right mother and she got the right daughter’. I thought the whole programme was very poignant and I felt very sorry for Mrs Winterson by the end. As JW said – she was actually her golden ticket to the better life she craved, but her mother was so bigoted she just couldn’t see it.

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