The middle is in-between, neither rampant nor manicured but showing steady growth and promising success. Not much of an analogy but this is how I see my writing at present: I’m past the starting gate.
When I first attended Leicester Writing School’s critique classes I tried to interpret tutors’ comments. At the time I wanted to target women’s magazines (still trying!) but, although I religiously followed guidelines, got nowhere. In retrospect there were too many tutors addressing different genres. All had something to give, but they also had a common denominator of ‘good phrase’ or ‘not quite there...’ I would have preferred less ‘tentative’ and more ‘definitive.’ Don’t get me wrong, I learned much.
So why am I happy to be in the middle? It’s all due to Phoenix Writers.
Well, look what you’ve done to me: you’ve made independent editors publish my work and propel me into the middle distance. Neither here nor there? Oh, I’m ‘there’ all right. And I assign all bragging rights to my fellow writers, to the band of serious scribblers who work hard at their craft and are unstinting in their support. We’ve done it with knobs on! (All right, so it’s a cliché!).
Because Phoenix Writers don’t do ‘tentative.’ Because the critique is solid. And because of the group I’ve learned to listen: I hear what isn’t said, good, bad or throw-away.
Unfortunately this has also ruined my coffee-shop experience as covert eavesdropping catches every whisper, expletive and queue commentary.
I shall file that under ‘recycling’!