Over the summer I finished my collection of twelve short stories; a collection I'm really pleased with. Each one takes place in a month and is exactly one thousand words. Each deals with a different view of death and rebirth, endings and beginnings. Because this piece of writing was a result of a challenge by my friend Raziel, there are hidden elements in each story too.
My point is that I finished them. Oh, the first draft was completed more than a year ago, but then I put it to one side before the final polishing. I read and reread; I tweaked; I double-checked everything. Then, confident, I sent them out to my first trusted readers.
And back came a flood of editing and proof-reading points. My final polishing had still left snags and rough edges. I was mortified.
In a similar process, my elder daughter gave me her final draft of her essay for her EPQ (Extended Project Qualification). She thought I would read through it and make a couple of helpful remarks. Instead I covered it with red pen! My daughter is a scientist, not a writer, and it showed. I hasten to add she was grateful for the red pen: it demonstrated she had subjected her essay to rigorous editing. Apparently, the process of the EPQ is more important than the finished result.
We both needed to subject our work to the view of another trusted person.
Chatting with a friend yesterday, we spoke of people we know who, on social media, confess that they can happily do without the entire human race, so long as they have their animals. Animals, they say, are much better company than humans.
Yet, they profess that preference on social media, a platform solely for humans. And I say this despite my cat sitting in his preferred spot on my lap as I write. He frequently attempts to engage in social media, gets involved in every phone call and firmly believes that he can write a better novel than I!
We know that certain animals are pack animals. In Switzerland it is now illegal to keep just one guinea-pig: guinea pigs are highly social animals and need company. My daughter has a friend who recently lost one of her donkeys. The remaining donkey is lonely, depressed and has lost his appetite. He needs the companionship of another horse or donkey.
I think many of us in the Moodscope community, would class ourselves as introverts. We find social interaction (other than with very close friends or family perhaps) to be difficult; we avoid parties and crowds. Yet we all need someone. We need more than one person. We need engagement, even if we live alone, we need some form of companionship: someone to bring out the best in us. We need other humans.
I don't write into a vacuum, I write for anyone who wants to read what I have written.
You are my people; I write for you.
A Moodscope member.