It’s been a while since I posted about the dissertation but today I had some feedback. I suppose I’ve clocked maybe 4 weeks work on the dissertation with research and writing. But today I had some bad news.
It all started with a chance meeting and being handed a leaflet. That leaflet was about a competition for a child’s story. It intrigued me and I had an idea so I thought I’d take a break from the dissertation and write the kid’s book. It’s for 7-9 years only and is based in Wales. I’d been reading the dissertation at the workshop I take every Wednesday but today I took along the first 2000 words of the children’s story.
After I read it there was a moment of silence and then they erupted into praise. It needs tidying but apart from that it was great… I had a few doubts but everyone loved it. And… here’s the shocker… it’s so much better than the dissertation.
I knew there were holes in the writing but I hadn’t realized it was as obvious to others as it was to me. Now I have a problem. Can you get the same mark for a child’s story as I can for an adult one? It’s the critical essay that worries me. The current dissertation had a complicated essay with background and research, and would I get enough for the other story?
Then the workshop started to ask questions… It turns out that what I think everyone knows about writing for children is not common knowledge. I’ve read everything from ‘The Harrowing’ to ‘Whispering to Witches’ and ‘Ketchup Clouds’. It turns out that the extra work I did on the dissertation I was doing for this story because I wanted to.
There is also the writing. The children’s story is not a labour. It does not take me masses of time and leave me exhausted, instead I am typing away at any opportunity and enjoying every minute. So what do I do?
I have been told that the problems I am having with the dissertation is because it is ‘the dissertation’. I’m getting anxious. So I am going to write the children’s story and I may use it for the dissertation but I’m going to keep it light. After all if you can’t enjoy your writing then does it work? I don’t think so.
So I will let you know how the story goes and whether I will go back to the original idea. But at the moment I am concentrating on the children’s book and smiling the whole way.