Publication patience…

I’ve just read the blog post that I NEEDED to read today.

http://whilethekidsaresleeping.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/how-to-get-published-8-authors-share-their-stories/

Go on, go ahead and read it. Ten years. Eight years. Five. These authors have indicated that publication takes time and I need to take a deep breath and go forth with confidence…and caffeine.

My manuscript has been on ice for some time now; I’ve been very focused on work, short stories and household management. Life is full. But I feel it is time to really give The Quickening one last bit of love. It is a difficult child, and I need to talk myself into affection, because, in truth, I can hardly bear to look at it anymore. I need some perspective, so I have booked into a workshop with Natasha Lester- http://www.natashalester.com.au/resources/March-2013-flyer.pdf

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I fear that my first novel might be my ‘in training’ effort, my ‘failed manuscript’. This is my fear, but I will give it one more year of redrafting and submissions before I put it to bed (or under the bed). I have another story in mind and plenty of notes, so, I shall continue to write, and in two years or twenty, I’ll hold that beautiful weight of hard work in my hands.

In other news, Dawn Barker’s Fractured has had a lot of media coverage. I haven’t read it yet, but it seems that it deals with postpartum depression and psychosis. My soon to be published story, Solomon’s Baby (http://www.margaretriverpress.com/catalogue/fiction/knitting-and-other-stories/), deals with similar issues, and I wonder if Ms Barker and I did not tap into the same zeitgeist at a similar time here in Perth. There were a couple of news stories a few years ago that inspired my piece and she mentioned the same in a recent interview.

It’s a funny thing, publication. It’s always felt like the ultimate goal but now, as I await the arrival of Knitting and other stories, I can’t help but worry a little about the conjecture of others (namely my work colleagues) upon reading my first published story. I’m going to take this opportunity to be clear on a few things: I have not experienced severe postnatal depression as such; my character, Meredith, is an amalgamation of many women I know. The experience of early motherhood is often fraught and I believe that most women probably have an insight on some level. I realize, as I write this, that there is a certain reticence about postnatal problems; heaven forbid we admit that our little darlings ever brought us anything other than joy. In my writing, I am most interested in the female experience, and rather preoccupied with motherhood; how better to develop an understanding than to read a novel on the rather taboo subject? I look forward to curling up with Barker’s novel- I believe it is an important one.

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