Transition Is Simple…

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One of my earliest blogs made a reference to how I felt when a project finally left my fingers and was received by a publisher.

It’s nine years ago that I wrote:

When I finished my latest project I felt a part of me had died as I wouldn’t be visiting it again. It’s that pain that makes me want to write about writing and creation. Put myself in the wind.

I revisited that same feeling around six months later in this:

I feel like a project becomes part of you and therefore is everything you are. Last time I gave up a project I felt like a piece of my soul had been broken away when it was sent over to the publisher/editor.

My latest project has been something of a labour of love. I’m a Yorkshire Dales guy, above and below ground, so the thought of pitching my literary skills at Derbyshire was pretty daunting.

It turns out the Derbyshire dales are pretty similar to the ones some 100 miles north and the people all the more welcoming.

Transition was simple. Change was easy to accept.

Now that manuscript has been submitted to the publisher and I’m waiting for the response.

When re-drafting the book (I am a constant re-drafter, it’s never right, I want to change it constantly), I found myself reliving the walks I took, the caving trips I completed. I haven’t written a book like that for a while. When I wrote 50 Gems of Yorkshire Dales I knew those gems, they were friends, I knew them intimately.

Derbyshire was different because I was an infrequent visitor. It was like re-engaging with them once again.

A pretty nice feeling as it happens, even though I ended up doing a lot of re-writes. That’s normal.

My favourite Gem is likely to be the caving trip to Peak Cavern, but I am drawn to two in particular and they came at the end of the research process.

One was Dovedale; a visit undertaken as the sun was setting, the River Dove flooding and the temperature dropping. It was eerie in places and very lonesome. After crossing over the stepping stones, I had the genuine feeling that I was the only person left on the planet.

I’d felt something similar before – at Southerscales in the Dales – that I’d treaded this path before, although I’d never been there. It was spiritual but something deep down in my DNA. Almost primeval; I’d been here before as had my ancestors.

The other was at Lud’s Church, near Gradbach, on a filthy day in late November. This landslip in milestone grit had created a chasm that was apparently used by the Lollards in the early 14th century. They worshipped here to avoid persecution. I swear I could feel a presence around me when I went deeper into the ‘church’. Again, a very spiritual moment.

I’m now trying to take a few days off before I start working on another publication and write for me instead. The books are for me of course, but they are for readers and a publisher too.

Yes, the irony here isn’t lost on me. Every piece of writing has a point and an audience but I’m hoping to dedicate a little more time now to these blogs and finally getting a podcast up and running.