Despair and despondency 

These summer months were supposed to be a time of editing and elaboration, fact-checking and polishing but with every book I read and every sentence I fail to write I feel a growing sense of inadequacy and futility.

It’s all too big, too complex. Women’s Suffrage! The Great War! The facts are too forbidding, the reality too real, the scope for error too great. I can never do justice to such cataclysmic events, such depth of human experience and emotion. My characters are two-dimensional, my story predictable and trite, my interpretation narrow and self-indulgent.

It helps (a little) to remind myself that I am writing one woman’s story; I am in her head and her head alone. Everything that happens, happens through her eyes. Every piece of knowledge is hers and is filtered through her understanding. She doesn’t have an overview or foresight or benefit of a century’s restospection and analysis. And she  doesn’t have Facebook or Twitter or Google to open up the heaving cauldron of the world’s knowledge and induce a sense of being so very tiny and so very inadequate.

She can only respond to what she knows at the time and in a way that is of her time. She may be wrong. I may be wrong. Or we may both be right.


About Hannah

Author of literary historical fiction set in the First World War. Revising my first book, writing the next, seeking representation. Mountaineer, gardener, traveller, off-road runner. Africa, modern history, coffee, roses, films, book and unrealistic romance. NHS midwife in a former life.
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