This is a piece that tells a lot of stories about me personally. This is a story that I did last year and submitted for ENGL201-An Introduction for Creative Writing at Macquarie University. When I began the piece, I had no clear idea what stimulus to use, or what type of piece I’d write. Having recently gone some personal troubles in March last year, my initial idea was to formulate a piece about recovering from troubles. I felt writing a piece that focused on healing seemed like something I wanted to work with.
Heading home for a weekend, I decided to take a photograph of our family pool under a cold vintage effect. The resulting photograph (above) was a picture that I loved, but I still wasn’t sure where to go next. One night while I was swimming in the pool with my dad, the idea of a pool being a healing place crossed my mind, and I wrote like crazy for the next few days, until I went back to Sydney.
"The Pool" went through many incarnations, however when it became its own character, and a therapist, was when I found the story worked best. The connotations of healing and alternative realities with birth/rebirth also came out of that personification and that draft.
I had trouble concluding the story, and so rewrote many different versions including the narrator being swallowed by the pool and his troubles, or by him staying there, as the wound was too deep. However him leaving the pool at the end eventually allowed for a sense of achievement within the story. Allowing the character to leave the pool brought a closure, and gave a sense that the ‘therapy’ of the pool was successful.
At the time when I submitted the piece, I wasn't very happy with this story, as I felt more could have been done with it. But looking back on it, this is a story that I'm extremely proud of, and in my own opinion the best short story I've written so far.
As a writer, its not very often that you look back on a story you wrote yourself and go, 'man I did that well'. You always want to tweak and point out what is not quite right, and often you miss how good it is.
And as a sidenote, I ended up getting a D+ for this piece, which is the highest mark I've ever got for a writing piece. This is my benchmark, and the only way is up.