In Pursuit of Happiness

Today, I’d like to talk to you about goals.

There are amazing comebacks, and there are four goals against Barcelona. You’d have to be pretty hard-hearted as a football neutral not to appreciate the sheer awesomeness of this performance, especially that fourth goal. If there were ever a case of ‘see an opportunity then take it’ then that was it. You have to know the moments when it is time to attack. Most significantly, you also need to know when to step back.

I’ve been trying for about three months now to crack short story technique, to no avail. Ironically, the only story written and submitted this year as non-fiction is already shortlisted. Maybe a decade of blogging has taught me a few things about what makes a compelling story when presented as reality. The building blocks are there, undoubtedly, but what is lacking is the compelling execution of ideas.


‘But hang on,’ I hear you say, ‘you’re writing a daily short story, isn’t that helping?’ Amazingly yes it is, because undoubtedly there’s a chance to think through and grasp a story-line over time, which is where I’ve been failing miserably thus far. My ideas are full of holes, and only after a LOT of thought can I produce a fully-formed end result. It’s like having all the pieces of a puzzle, but no idea of the picture they make.

It’s taken about least two years to get head around the complex mechanics of poetry, and only now is work beginning to emerge in what I’d consider my true voice. There is undoubtedly a learning process at play: right now confusion is winning over clarity. Nothing is actually finished and there’s at least a dozen stories part-written, maybe more; why this is happening need to be understood as a matter of priority.


I know what’s wrong, and am already planning a path forward where work on technique can happen across the summer. As with everything else, it requires time and effort to block out space in which to work, and then to do so. Organising myself is no longer an issue. With this skill, and the ability not to stress that certain competitions or awards don’t get an entry, we’ll fix my issues.

I’ve totally got this.

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