So here we are, off and running.
Week 1 is about approval, approving of yourself, about reminding us whose opinion really counts. Jess asks us to reflect on things that have made us proud.
I have had a history that heads into the dark side of things at times, having fought depression and an alcohol problem. Perhaps not surprisingly, I don't always find it easy to identify things that I am necessarily proud of. But there are a few. I think.
Jess insists that the one whose opinion really counts is you. Of course there is a limit to how far that goes. But in a creative enterprise like writing, your opinion really is the one that counts. As people like Stephen King insist, as writers we are writing for ourselves. So there is my first thing to keep in mind - when it comes to my writing, the ultimate person to really be kept happy, is me.
So what things am I proud of?
A little while back, someone whose opinion I respect, was quite complimentary about two stories of mine in a hopefully-soon-to-be-released self-published collection, enthusing over how he was able to so easily see the stories I was telling. That meant I was making the sort of connection I was aiming for and I think is something to be quietly proud of.
In recent times I have submitted a couple of stories to monthly competitions run by Spinetinglers in the UK. One of these came second in a comp, then the next one came first. Both placements paid money, which is always nice, and I received some good feedback from readers, both on the site and fia social media. Making that sort of connection is also something to be quietly proud of.
In both cases above, I also have ask myself, could I have possibly done anything better with any of these stories? In brutal honesty, yes, I could have done better - a word here, a phrase there, more creativity in the way in which I structure my narrative.
So there we have it - my week 1 reflection.