And talking of food, I had to have one of these while I was there. Delish!
We stayed at Ashford-in-the-Water (with the lovely Sheepwash Bridge on the River Wye), near to Bakewell and did a couple of long walks over the weekend and it was great. Must admit, I’m glad I’m not there this weekend though – snow is forecast and it’s freezing!
Today I was in Evesham on ‘writerly business’. It’s only 20 minutes down the road from me but it’s like another world. There are SHOPS! (Very exciting) and loads of cafes and of course, there’s going to be another Evesham Festival of Words this summer, with even more lovely events – and booking’s now open! (As is the short story competition – closing date 24th March).
This morning I was at the library for ‘Second Friday Stories’ which is an hour-long event, on the second Friday of each month. It’s a chance to listen to local authors (yes, I was there today as one of those!), enjoy a cuppa, meet like-minded people and it’s free.
I was talking about writing short stories and giving a plug to the workshop and quiz that I’m running (the quiz with my friend Chris) at this summer’s Festival.
As a writer these days you’re expected to be something of a public speaker too. It’s not compulsory, obviously, but if you want to get your name known or your books sold, then it helps if you don’t mind putting yourself ‘out there’ a bit.
On the whole, I don’t mind it.
If you’d seen me sitting in my car 20 minutes before my talk, jotting down some notes on a few cards, you’d have thought I was an old hand at it all. And, indeed, if you’d asked me how it went five minutes after I’d done my spiel today, I’d have said ‘great!’ but – and here’s the confession – a strange thing happens to me after any class, workshop or talk that I deliver. I ruminate (yes, like a cow) on it, for hours, if not days afterwards and I think negative thoughts, like ‘Oh God, did I sound a bit too full of myself?’ and ‘Was I boasty-boasty when I said how many stories I’d sold?’
Today I went over my allotted time by about 10 minutes and everyone seemed very relaxed about it but then I realised that the two ladies coming after me, had 10 minutes less than they should have had! So, then I worried about that. ‘Did they hate me?’ ‘Were they sitting there, wondering when the heck I was ever going to shut up?’ ‘Was the organiser getting twitchy?’
There must be a name for it. Something like ‘post-event-traumatic-stress’ (PETS) because I get the jitters and doubts afterwards, not before.
Is that weird?