Sometimes I find it a challenge to just keep writing. I need inspiration, because writing is very much a solitary occupation, but I like connecting with people too. One of the things that connects me with other writers, is to read. To write well, you need to read well. But sometimes I get diverted by life - things to do, places to be, pressure to conform. Today, after lunch, I took time out to finish reading 'Under the Huang Jiao Tree' by Jane Carswell. I feel inspired by this amazing lady who taught in China for a year. She has written with unusual honesty, clarity and depth about her experiences which taught her a lot about herself. I like her uncluttered, distinct style of writing. One of my tutor's once said that writing is like being a sculptor of marble - and even a sculptor lets some of the marble fall to the floor. Letting the marble fall to the floor means edit, edit, edit. It is the most essential but most difficult part of good writing. It can also be compared to an athlete pushing the pain barrier - your precious work needs to be trimmed, shaped and pulled into sharp focus. You can lose a lot of sweat, choosing what to include and what to leave out, but it must be done. Next task for me is to do some editing on Chrisjan's story. I'll let you know how I get on.