A Lesson in Hope

Three days ago, I earned a writing commission on a paper I write for sometimes.

There is always elation in writing gigs. The money is rubbish. But the occupation is crucial.

Minding gaps, stuffing them chock full of words.

I took my commission into the ether, dragging it behind me, and filled it full of questions which I posed fast and furious to all the right people to gather the fat to hitch to the skeleton of my story.  So that it stood up under scrutiny when the fact checkers took it to task.

The next day the editor killed my story. It was too similar to one the paper was already running.

One was hopeful, one was not.  

It happens this – this pitching into a void or pitching and editors pinching your ideas and handing them to staffers or this pitching that comes to nothing. It happens alot. That was not the lesson.

The lesson was much better than that. 

Mum’s story comes as two halves now: a bad day, when her head is all tangled and knotted and she talks nonsense. And then one that is starling and bright and full of great conversation, a day that brings me hope.

Like the story I was going to write: a hopeful story about a hopeless situation.

Because otherwise how do you keep going?


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