I think my hydrangea is dead. It certainly looks dead, which is a shame as it has survived the last couple of years in a pot and now we have finally (finally!!) got the garden to a state where we can plant it in the ground it appears to have given up the ghost. I can’t really blame it, with everything else going on (yes, morning sickness and whiplash I’m talking to you), last summer probably marked the pinnacle in my gardening neglect.
Still I’ve gone ahead and planted it anyway. It can’t hurt right? And perhaps, if there is a shred of life in it, fresh soil, good compost and freedom from its ceramic prison will nurse it back to health. Or at least that’s the hope.
I’m working on hope a lot lately, hope and persistence to be more accurate, two things which seem necessary in pursuing a writing career.
Take this weeks little mishap with a half written short story I was working on for up coming competition. One wrong click on my iPad and BOOM, I lost the lot. Literally hours of work – and whole days of procrastinating… I mean “planning” – lost because my sleep deprived, baby-addled brain didn’t press save!
It is probably testament to my sleep starved state that I didn’t have a worse reaction to the sudden loss of my work. Honestly though, it was my stupidity at not saving my work as I went, that niggled me more than the loss of the pages themselves.
I did wonder if that lack of reaction meant that I wasn’t really that invested in the story; that perhaps I knew on some subconscious level that the premise, characters or whatever just wasn’t really worth it, thus making it no great loss. But I don’t think that’s it.
What I found interesting, in an oddly detached way, sometime later, was that after my initial annoyance at being a prize clot, was that I had this thought;
So, do I abandon it or rewrite it? Definitely rewrite, I’ve got to give it a proper go.
Which is not that groundbreaking except that hot on heels came this…
Perhaps this will actually be good for the story. Perhaps it will be better this time. I mean I know the character better now, I have a better idea of the story arc and I even might have been beginning to get a handle on that fickle mistress known as plot aka my nemesis.
Now, given I’d just inadvertently deleted my own work through sheer stupidity, I thought this was a surprisingly positive thing to spontaneously think of and, more wonderfully, thinking it made me feel not just hopeful but quite excited.
This type of thinking, I believe, sort of encapsulate the attitude needed to keep going as a writer. Just like with planting my hydrangea with nothing more than the hope that it’s still alive and the belief that if certainly won’t be if I don’t at least try, these thoughts demonstrate an attitude that is both hopeful/positive and the knowledge that you need to keep going even in the light of a set backs. Big pat on the back for me then after all!
So, in light of all that, I’m going to save this, open a Word document and go and, as the song lyrics would have it, pick myself up, dust myself down and start all over again!
Wish me luck!