Wednesday, 4 February 2015

fine fine fine

The most important thing to remember is that you’re doing fine. There are about a million other things to remember, all shooting off in different directions like spider silk from your wrists, but as long as you got the important one, you got this. You? You’re doing fine.

Having said that, we do all wonder if perhaps you aren’t spending just a little bit too much time online. Having said that, that’s a lie: that “wonder”. We’ve decided. We talk about it. You are definitely spending too much time online.

While we’re at it, we’ve also been thinking about the time you’ve taken to compare yourself to other people. You spend a lot of time panning the dust of the internet for shiny golden nuggets, from which you craft their present intentions. Their past indiscretions. They ways in which you are: better/worse/kind-of-sort-of the same.

If it wasn’t for the time you spent on the internet, and specifically the time you spend on the internet comparing yourself to other people, and specifically to those other young women writers of a certain age, style and indiscretion, we can help but wonder if you might not have written a little bit more by now.

You might have a book, is what we’re saying. We might be sat by the radiator with a big blue mug of fennel tea, unfolding the pages, letting the spine crack—there! right along your name.

But we are not. There are so many stories we haven’t read yet, is what we’re saying. There are so many bookshops we haven’t snuck inside and signed all the copies with secret messages, because there are no secret copies, and all the messages read:

“Hurry up” at the bottom of every left-hand page, and

“Take all the time you need” on every right.

Perhaps the reason we are telling you this now is because of that message you sent your agent this week, the one with the 60,000 word manuscript attached. We are stirring up your soup because the only thing more terrifying than never finishing anything is the thought of finishing something and putting it outside.

Sooner or later you are going to have to hack out your heart and send it out into the world inside a box. You would like to be there when they open the box, to whisper in their ears “be kind”, but you will not.

But that’s okay. The most important thing to remember is that you are still going, still making things better. The most important thing is not all the things you did wrong to get here. The most important thing is you. You. You, doing fine.

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