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Sitting on my hands, biting the inside of my cheek…

I am floating in wonderful in-between land. My first novel is going through the editing mill with my agent and my second is composting in the far-flung corners of my mind. It’s an odd place to be in the writing spectrum.

But, a pretty wonderful place at the same time. Daydream, reading, jotting little notes with my favourite pen, all the while doing what I love. I’ve been wringing out the knots that need to be addressed in novel 1, researching interesting/disturbing/eye-opening facts for novel 2, planning short stories, non-fiction articles and generally enjoying wordsmithery.

On the surface it all looks rather relaxed

On the surface…

But underneath are the bubbles of something else entirely. Because can a writer ever relax and enjoy the preparations of writing?

Every short story I’ve planned I am desperate to write, though I won’t get a chance for a long while yet (they will be written when novel 2 is submitted) The articles I’ve planned have not actually been requested but are just my dalliance, my desire to write everything, right now. And don’t get me started on the actual novels. I’ve rewritten the first novel six gazillion times in my head, wondering if Kate would like this, or that, or if that twist would work better earlier/later/not at all.

Oh, and that second novel. It’s going to be good. I can feel it in my very bones, my right palm has been itching fire ever since I started the research and characterisation. I am desperate to write it but…but… I also know, from my long history as a person of great impatience, that I should not rush.

It will all get done.

It will be all the better for having had time.

And I also know that, no matter how often I remind myself of the above, my right palm will continue to itch.

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Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, type those troubles away…

Writing has been something of a saviour lately, during a time that has been both emotionally and actually exhausting (I have given up on my children ever sleeping beyond 5.30AM). I often find it difficult to write when I’m tired, or when there are so many things to juggle in life that my head is spinning. But this week, far from being difficult, it has come as something of a god send.

One of the beauties of writing is how it is so all encompassing, swallowing up the minutes until an hour has gone by that you have lived solely in your imagination or engrossed in examining the appropriateness of the words on the page, your page. And when life is busy, or hectic, or when it takes you horribly by surprise and knocks you for six, there is something to be said for having a pastime to lose yourself in, be it professionally or just for the love of the words.

And that’s why this week I am perhaps briefer than normal, keen to escape for a little while in my own stories, in the catharsis of creating characters I can control.

Or maybe I’m just a total workaholic, happy for any excuse to pick up the laptop and tap away.

 

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Melancholy September

It’s September, ALREADY. I can feel the summer leaching away through the gaps in the grass on our lawn. My skin tone is starting to fade  to its natural pallid state. School (gulp) starts again on Monday. And perhaps that is the biggest wrench.

“Hooray!” One half of me cries, “I get my writing time back! I can actually do some proper work!”

But…

Oh God…

It means my children are that little bit older. One of their summers has been and gone and I want to drag them out of their beds, hold them and tell them to stop right there, at this exact moment, and just be my little ones forever.

The bittersweet start of term.

I wrote a post a while ago on how similar writing is to raising children, but I’ve realised how wrong I was, how very wrong. I want to protect my children, keep them unchanged and out of the way of those who could manipulate, take advantage. I want to keep them, as they are, happy in themselves and the world around them.

But my book is oh so different. I’ve discovered this past week, whilst reflecting on the notes taken during my conversation with my agent (still can’t get used to saying that!) that I’m more than happy for my book to be manipulated and manhandled into something else, something better. I want to take full advantage of its commercial appeal, chop at the freckles or warts that make it unsavoury, to use my ability to delete explicit scenes and make their existence more subconscious. In short, I want to twist it around my little finger and make it work for me, for my agent, for (hopefully) a publisher.

Oh, how very mercenary I must sound.

But the two, I suppose, go hand in hand. I want to make a success of my writing because principally I don’t want to do anything else, I don’t think I can do anything else. But also, I can do this from home (when timing allows) I can create these characters, twist them this way and that, whilst attempting to ensure that no one, EVER, does that to my kiddoes.

Except when they’re at school…

…And I can’t protect them…

…bloody September school panic blues.