If anything makes this blog interesting to read, it'll be not that I'm a good writer, but that I'm extraordinarily bad. At the grand old age of nineteen, I've already collected enough rejection slips to stock the fireplace of every room in the house and never need central heating again. That's if we had working fireplaces.
I suppose I am a little disillusioned. I wrote Novenary when I was sixteen and I thought I'd cracked it. But I never wrote anything that good again, and I'm no better a writer now than I was three years ago. For which I only have myself to blame. I have been lazy and I am being lazy and I need to stop being lazy, but for some reason it's so hard to motivate myself to write, even though that's what I base my existence on. I always planned to have my first book of poetry published in my twenties, so I could be well-established by the time I'm forty, and I never thought that would be a problem. Now I sometimes doubt I'll ever get a collection together at all, if I live to be a hundred.
But we push on, and I'm planning my New Year's submissions from the competitions advertised in my Mslexia diary. Anything in print now would be such a boost. It's been so long. There's The Wigtown for 26th January, for which I could submit any number of things. The Dying Woman, perhaps? Might have another look at that. There's also A Ruined Castle (note to self: think up more imaginative titles) which I'm loathe to give up on because it's controlled and it took me fucking ages. The Foyle last year were kind enough to write and say it had made their shortlist of twenty, so it must have some merit. There's House Party (another stupid title, makes me think of Noel Edmunds) which Indigo Dreams never got back to me about, despite the SAE. Rudeness. So, yes, one of those three. I don't think the Thailand one is salvageable - it just got too silly. There's also the Grace Dieu for 28th February, which can take another of the three. I can't afford to send multiple entries. I wanted to submit The Stone Angel, a short story I wrote in October, to The Biscuit Flash Fiction Prize but it turns out it's too short even for flash fiction. There's also something called Undiscovered Authors. I'm toying with the idea of, if I do well in that poetry essay, getting some advice on it, giving it a huge overhaul and submitting it for the academic section. But I think that might be ridiculous. Still, I needn't tell anybody.