Saturday, 31 March 2012

The hens' chorus

This week, after responding to a tweet from Claire King, I took part in Michelle Elvy's collaborative writing project, which was the creation of a short experimental story in honour of International Women's Month in March. The 100 words collective was exciting, each woman wrote 100 words of the story, taking the narrative on before delivering it to the next. It was enchanting and powerful seeing how the journey, even over a few days, had developed. A woman's voice, acting on her own but with the collective strength of those around her is a mighty powerful thing. We should remember that.

Just for a change (that's sarcasm by the way!) I had a ridiculously busy week at work and looked forward to sleeping a little bit longer this morning. At 6am I was staring at cloud formations. Sometimes sleep is overrated. I'll keep telling myself that anyway.... Actually, it was lovely. So peaceful, the birdsong melancholic yet full of possibilities. Until my hens stirred, squawking to life in the back garden. They are beautiful, funny, and incredibly friendly animals but jeez oh they cannot sing. They don't do the morning chorus at all well!

Anyway, since the early morning choir I've been doing a lot of thinking. I came up with a fabulous idea for a 3-part TV series yesterday. I have so much confidence in my ability to sell it, it's a winner. Engaging, compelling telly. This week I also received interest in my novel, The Dandelion Clock, from a publisher. Subsequently we've had some chat about a 3-part series, although we each have a lot of thinking to do. Are we actually right for one another? We need to know that, and understand what our independent aspirations are before we can move any further ahead. Even if we're not the right fit I am pleased that there is positive interest. The Dandelion Clock was longlisted by Mslexia this year so that makes two happy readers so far!

As tempting as it is, when it comes to your precious work, your beautiful creation, it's not a simple case of take a deal and run. Compromise isn't something to be considered lightly.

I've always regarded my fiction writing to be something personal and exclusive, completely separate from the business 'me'. The softer, calmer, malleable me. And yet, when the words are ready to leave you and venture out with a life of their own to be greeted by (hopefully!) eager readers, business sense and understanding is the key to making that happen.

So, if I can broker and sustain multi-million pound deals at work, I can do it for myself and my writing. Shouting about yourself is easy right...? If the hens can do it, so can I. No problem at all....

I might just nip out to the coop for a wee vocal lesson.

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