I am facing what many a writer faces, the blank page, uncertain what to say. I've often said I find the blank page open, forgiving - ever accepting as Gillie Bolton suggests - but this blank page is to be shared with others. And the internal critic gets in the way, what have I to write which is of any interest to anyone else? What if I get it wrong? Without any real sense of what wrong might be or look like.
This is consistently stopping me from working on my non-fiction project: a book about training to be a counsellor, from the inside out, so to speak. With the help of a more published writer friend and mentor, I've put together a proposal and had sent it off to Jessica Kingsley Publishers. On the advice of my mentor, I am only sending it to one publisher at a time, the non-fiction world is too small for anything else. To my surprise I got a brief personalised emailed reply very quickly saying they were looking at my proposal. This, in my experience, never happens with fiction, where you're lucky to get a tatty compliments slip attached to your returned pristine submission. Unfortunately, only a few weeks later, I get an equally pleasant, thanks but no thanks email.
So it's back to base camp, and I know I have to send my proposal off again. My mentor and others have told me it's a good one, I just need to have some faith.
It's not easy. I was in the South-West of England this weekend and on the local news there was some information about a literary festival. Not one of the authors mentioned were actually primarily writers, they had all made their names through doing something else. Celebrity has stitched up the fiction market, how much longer before it ties up the non-fiction one too?
All this is true. And an excuse. If I want to get this book written and out there, it's me who has to believe in it.