Vernal Equinox – in the balance


It is the vernal equinox: today we get an equal measure of light and dark. Starting from tomorrow, up in the Northern hemisphere, each day the sun lingers longer across our skies. And our friends in the Southern hemisphere follow lengthening nights into the quieter seasons. But today, we stand balanced, both north and south.

When I was a kid, I remember someone saying that ‘on the equinox you can balance an egg on its end, because of the tilt of the earth.’ Funny bit of apocrypha. I knew it was unlikely. Still, I always wanted to try and would be disappointed when I had missed the moment without having at least tried to balance an egg.

Going after the unlikely is not a bad strategy, it seems.

At least in the writing world, anyway. This morning as I was planning this newsletter, I got to thinking about becoming visible with my writing. I’ve written for years – notebooks, journals, hidden poetry. About six years ago I started this blog as a step into the light – beginning to tilt the balance into being seen. And over the past few years, I’ve been submitting more work for publication. This year, I’ve sent out more pieces than ever. As any statistician would tell you, the more times you try, the more chances you’ll have for success. Here are some numbers reflecting my submissions so far this year that you might find interesting:

  • Submissions: 40* 
  • Acceptances: 6
  • Standard rejections: 10
  • Really nice rejections with a personalised note: 3
  • Pieces pending: 21

*some of these are simultaneous submissions – the same pieces of writing submitted to more than one publication

I’m completely thrilled with the acceptances and I don’t mind the rejections. Well, I mind a little, but that’s part of the game. And the really nice rejections encourage me to keep trying. This is what happens when you try to balance an egg on its end: on most days, it will fall down. But every so often, on a special day, the laws of physics take a coffee break and we can slip in an amazing result when they are out of the room!

But none of it happens if we don’t try. 

So, as we have this moment of balance today before the seasons shift, I hope you’ll pursue some kind of unlikely. Maybe you’ll pick up a pen and start to put your words down on paper. Maybe you’ll join a writing group. Maybe you’ll send out those poems or stories to the writing world. Or maybe you’ll balance an egg on its end. You never know, it might just all work out.

Would you like to join me? This Spring I’m offering 3 different Writing Circles in my creative writing business, Spilling the Ink. We’ll write a lot and attempt to balance the odd egg every now and then.

Here are the nuts and bolts for the courses, follow the link on the course name for more information about each:

  • Continuing the Craft, Friday mornings, Harston Village Hall, 9.30 – 12.00, 21 April – 7 July (10 sessions, no meeting 5 May and 2 June)
  • Online Spilling the Ink, fortnightly on Sundays, live online session,16.00-17.30 BST, 30 April, 14 May, 28 May, 11 June, 25 June.
  • The Daily Scribble, one week online taster course, free (£15 deposit, refunded on completion), daily emails 17-21 April, live online session 23 April, 16.00-17.30 BST.

It would be lovely to write with you this Spring,


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