Cultivating A Writing Practice

In an attempt to foster a regular writing practice or routine, I have come across a variety of new initiatives that have piqued my interest. Granted, I have yet to try Hour of Writes for a couple of reasons. One of these is my perfectionism, the other that I don’t think I can write solidly for an hour. After several years of not doing any exams, I feel that kind of focus is difficult to maintain.

However, the Faber Academy’s QuickFic competition has proven to be quite useful. Today’s prompt can be found here.

The principle is simple – a prompt at 9.00am GMT, for which you are invited to write 250 words by 2:50pm GMT. Send your entry to the Faber Academy via email to be in with a chance of winning five shiny new books. Books have something of a hold on me, as a writer, so I thought I would try this week’s prompt.

The Cat Among Them

It’s true…I was always happiest among the pigeons. My mother stood off to the side most days, and crowed about the ‘filthy, good for nothing birds.’ Even though I was only four years old, this jarred with the last year of Sunday school. Surely God wouldn’t have put pigeons on the planet if they were ‘good for nothing’? And besides, everybody’s good for something. Especially my brother Ian…king of the world in my four year old mind.

As time passed, the kitten among the pigeons grew to become the proverbial cat. I couldn’t have been much older than thirteen when he told me. Said he couldn’t trust Mum and Dad with it, because they would send him away. I cringe when I think of it now, but he was right. The world was a hard place for people like Ian to deal with. He hid the darkness well, I realised as I grew older.

Years passed, Grandma too, then Dad. Ian told me between sighs and sobs that he’d not wanted to worry Mum, so he phoned me that night when he didn’t think he could handle another moment in the world.

I tried to find the right words, but there weren’t any. I told him I loved him, told him I understood if he felt he had to go. Suddenly I was four years old once more. Nothing changed, and everything changed…I realised then that I would always be the cat among the filthiest of pigeons.

I don’t think I will be inclined to write for next week’s QuickFic prompt, as it will be a difficult day in any case. However, I hope to participate in future QuickFic competitions. If you have had a go at this week’s prompt, please share your entry. I look forward to reading what others have done with it.

I have also powered through 700 words of a short story today, which surprised me. Productivity surprises me at the moment, given my current circumstances. Friends almost asked me to read something at the service, but rightly assumed that I might not be able to suppress my emotions.


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