New Year. New Stories.

Happy New Year.

Next week on Monday I start a brand new internship which is exciting but it means I’m going to be spending quite a lot of time travelling on the train. Hopefully that will mean time to read and maybe write a little.

Unfortunately I must admit that any ideas lately haven’t really made it down onto the page yet (apart from what I’ve been writing for this blog).

I find that travelling opens avenues of thought when I’m writing, whether it’s a case of brand new ideas or working on an older piece. I don’t look back often, probably not as much as I should, so I’m more likely to start writing something new I have to admit. It’s not always easy to write this way as it can feel frustrating to go back and wonder whether or not an older piece of writing is worth the effort of improving.

For three years while I was at university I took the train back and forth no less than three days a week or more. It’s a long journey when you add up the time getting to and from the station plus waiting to change trains along the line. A lot of the ideas I used for university assignments were started or partially written while I was travelling on the train and during our last semester Danielle Shaw and I spent many trips using our time on the train to discuss the publishing project we were working on. Of course, like most things, taking the same journey over and over again made the shine of inspiration wear off and I wouldn’t write for some periods of time. Instead, I would simply stare out of the window as the scenery went past, especially when the train curved around the coast and I could watch the sea or I’d try to read whatever it was that I had with me.

I find new experiences great for writing but it’s keeping the momentum going that tends to trip me up. Finding a satisfactory ending can be difficult yet change is always exciting. Paradoxes and juxtapositions – I love the complications. The feeling when the first line of a story just clicks into place is incredibly satisfying but when you’re repeating the process for multiple chapters it’s not easy and it can be tiring.

It’s not all disheartening. Lately, I’ve been slowly building an idea that I’m steadily falling in love with and although it might not turn out the way I hope it won’t stop me from trying. I love to write – always have and I hope I always will – but falling in love with a story is what keeps me coming back to the practice even when it’s tiring, heartbreaking or just difficult.

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