So I opened my writing file and read one of the chapters I wrote last year. I now realise why I haven't wanted to work on this novel. It is set during the war Balkan War in Srebrenica, during a brutal siege when people were starving, shelled and gunned down by sniper. It is emotionally draining to write. As I read the chapter dealing with shells dropped on a playground I started crying. So while it is hard, it is also cathartic. I need to cry. Also there is some irony in the fact that I'm writing about a family who were effectively under lockdown for three years, while we are in a pandemic lockdown. Perhaps it will give me some catharsis to work through my own fears and feelings on the page. Anyway, I'm going to try and commit to one hour of writing a day from tomorrow. I'll be virtually checking in, more for myself. Fingers crossed.
Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. She writes memoir, young adult and romance under the pen name Mae Archer.
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