Writing can be a lonely business.
Not to mention demotivating, when - as sometimes happens - the words won't come, not to mention the ideas, energy or faith.
There is a secret weapon to splat the darkness of those doubts in a pure comic book instant kapow! moment.
Festivals, fairs and gatherings! Like the wonderful Winchester Writers' Festival, from which I have just returned, a little jaded, but utterly uplifted.
What a weekend. A mere blog couldn't capture it - I'd need books, and neither of us, you nor I, have the time, but in summary -
A magnificent bunch of the most smiley, happy, kind, interesting and interested, warm and engaging people you could wish to meet.
All united around the common passion of writing.
I was fortunate to teach a range of courses, from crime writing, to characterisation, to how to avoid having your manuscript rejected by a publisher (as in the picture above.)
And every session was a pleasure, because of the wholehearted, humorous, and highly talented participation.
For which a huge thank you to everyone who came to one of my sessions.
Alongside everything else you learnt over the weekend, I hope you remember the secret weapon to combat those dark moments -
Hark on back to the sunshine days of the Winchester weekend, and keep in touch with some of the people you met.
It's a trick that can work for any trade.
A few days out of the daily routine, mixing with others who share your passion, whatever it may be, and maintaining those beautiful bonds, is an excellent medicine for many an ill.