One of the things I love most about a project is the way that it forces you to wait for gratification. Just under four months ago, my allotment was a weedy patch of field. Tonight we will feast on the harvest that I have brought home. With little more than a few packets of seeds and some bags of compost, plus hours and hours of digging and watering, I have been able to perform magic, and bring this trug full of wonder home from my plot!
Magazine Club is a similar kind of long term project, and one that is very close to my heart. Once a week, I visit my daughter’s primary school, and work with a group of children to produce a school magazine. The Stanton Star is going to print next week, so this week was our final Magazine Club of the year. We have created interviews, reviews, art, stories, poetry, wordsearches, and much more. We spent our last session of the year painting posters to advertise our magazine. When I arrived home with paint all over my jeans, I was reminded about just how brave primary teachers are, every time they get out the paints.
Writing a book is a project as well. You start out with a germ of an idea, which develops into a piece of writing, and gradually, slowly, painfully, into the finished product. My month off Twitter has been very productive, book-writing wise. At the start of June, I had two rough first drafts that needed a lot of work; at the start of July I have two completed manuscripts. The Seven V’s of A Great Early Years Setting is published and available. I’m just working with a wonderful designer in Pakistan on the cover for the second book. I’d love to know what you think of the draft cover of Bad Faerie and the Trolls of Terror.
When you take on a project, you often make a lot of mistakes, particularly at first. You feel your way towards the finished ‘end result’ you had envisaged, refining and adapting as you go along. Often, your project looks like an awful mess during the early stages, and it is tempting to lose heart and give up. (If you’ve ever helped to put on a school production, you will know exactly what I mean.) But when your project comes to fruition, when your desire is finally gratified, oh what a feeling! Because with focus, hard work and an awful lot of perseverance, you (yes little old you) well, you brought that harvest home.