Learning To Play The Violin In Public

“Life is like playing the violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.”

Samuel  Butler

Photo on 21-07-2015 at 09.51

Regular readers of my blog will know that I’d been advised to change what I wrote here for a younger readership, to make it less about writing and more about the concepts and themes of my writing, to make it more engaging for children.

Well, that was all wrong.

So, here I am again, talking about the writing life and likely will be for quite some time. And here is something nobody tells you about the writing life: It’s embarrassing.

That’s right. I will personally guarantee that if you publish a book, story or poem in any form, you will have moments of toe-curling ultra-cringe. I’m having one right now, having announced that my blog will change and then, not a month later, announcing it won’t, actually.

The fact is, creative work is all about making it up as you go along. That means you will frequently get it wrong and have to make it up again. And, if you are any good, and people actually want to read/listen/watch what you do, that means you will mess up in public. Frequently. So, it’s not enough that the limitations of your character, intellect and understanding will be glaringly apparent in your creative work, you’ll also fall flat on your bottom in front of an audience on a fairly regular basis. There doesn’t seem to be a way around this, but if I find one, I’ll let you know.

So here I am, on my metaphorical bottom again. And not only that, since I’m on holiday and visiting my mother, I’m working in a cafe this morning. So I just took a selfie in front of a room full of farmers and scholars. With a flash.

Sigh. Sam Butler was so right.


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