Chudleigh Writers’ Circle member, Brenda Hutchings has been beavering away over the past few months putting together her first collection of poetry. She’s weeks, or maybe even just days, away from pressing ‘Go’; and we look forward to bringing you news of the finished article in plenty of time for those Christmas shopping lists. But in the meantime, we bring you this week the first part in a series she has written about her journey towards publication.
How Can I Be Sure, In A World That’s Constantly Changing?
“For those of you who are old enough to remember David Cassidy, (or had posters of him stuck to your bedroom wall), you’ll recognise the title of this piece of writing. Those words seem to be relevant at the moment and it’s exactly how I felt when I headed into the world of self-publishing.
Rewind to ages ago, when I had the idea to put all my poems and a few stories together into a collection, knowing full well I would need a fair old chunk of words to make it worthwhile. That bit as it turned out, was the easy part. I’ve done a lot of performance poetry over the years at various gigs, and had poems printed in anthologies, so I had plenty of material to work with. Eleven years on the committee of Torbay Poetry Festival had also whet my appetite to have my own book on the um, book table, which John Miles and myself used to be in charge of. Sadly, that didn’t happen, but my determination to have this book in my hands has never dwindled.
Most of the poems are saved in a folder on my computer, although not all had made it into the actual poetry folder, which of course were the ones I ended up looking for. So, Note to Self, number one: Make sure you have everything in the right folder before you begin anything, ever, no excuse, just do it, sort it out, edit, throw them in the bin, get them out again, have a coffee, walk the dog, put the washing on, (not forgetting to take the tissues, unused poop bags and hand sanitiser out of pockets, etc).
I’ve had Scrivener for a couple of years now and I have to admit, the longer I leave it before I use it the longer it takes to remember how. (Age thing? Probably). But, it’s a great piece of software for writers and I have used it a lot for writing stories. So, it was no surprise really that I decided to upload my poems and do some editing, work on them for a while and get a whole book done! Excitement coursed through my veins; I’d done it! All I had to do was…the next step. Note to Self, number two: Find out what the next step is before you start to get even the remotest bit excited, drink wine, allow yourself to have that giant piece of strawberry cheesecake you’d hidden in the fridge to have when you were excited about something, play ‘I remember when rock was young’ and (I remember when I was young, there were Knights of old who were going bald and self-publishing hadn’t been invented, they…), mum dancing in the kitchen while peeling the potatoes.
The next step actually turned into something magical, inasmuch there were all these wonderful people who were willing to help me. (To be continued)”