When it comes to taking myself and my writing seriously, I both do, and don’t. I like to think my writing is good, I like other people to think my writing is good, but I don’t like other people to think that I think my writing is good.
It’s kind of like a cat bringing you a mouse. I’m leaving my writing on the doorstep of the internet, and then when you stumble across it in the morning, I’m sitting six feet away, back turned, conspicuously washing my paws.
Talking myself up is something I am terrible at. Making jokes at my own expense is much easier – to the point I was once assessed by an actual psychological professional as using self-deprecating humour in an unhealthy way.
Hence, this site. Where I post my work for the whole world to see, and then make fun of it. Because I don’t want people to think I take this whole writing malarkey seriously. I mean, can you imagine?
But there comes a time, I suppose, when everyone has to look at something they do well and say “Yeah, I’m pretty fucken good at this.”
So. Writing. I’m pretty fucken good at it.
My masters manuscript got an A. Which is first-class honours and a reason for a drink in and of itself. Then I got the news that some of my stories are going to be translated into Spanish. As someone who is extremely monolingual, that’s basically magic.
And last Wednesday at the reading for my MCW class, they announced the winner of the Sir James Wallace Prize. It was me. I won $5000, for the best manuscript in a class where eight of eleven people got an A or higher. My mother shrieked so loud I think my family might have heard it from Wellington, and I gripped the flowers they gave me so tight that I killed most of them. It was a surreal moment, made all the more surreal by my overwhelming desire to say “I’m not really that great.”
Except, obviously, the judges all think I am.
I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do with my manuscript because flash fiction collections aren’t really a thing. I’d given advice to people which I didn’t follow myself, and I don’t have an agent, or a publisher. (If an agent or publisher is interested, the contact page is right there.) It was easier to make fun of my work than put the effort into trying to get it to an audience.
It appears to be time to take myself a bit more seriously. But not too seriously, don’t worry