I haven’t written here for a while; the whole summer in fact. My silence was due to a variety of reasons; not least because every spare minute I did have I have spent working on my novel.
This, however, is a very good time to begin blogging again. You see, today marked an exciting* day. After a zillion (SIXTEEN) rewrites and three and a half years of work, my first novel, Never Go There, has been sent to the copy editor at Hodder & Stoughton.
Obviously, I am marking this latest achievement with a G&T. I also promised myself, yet again, to take a day off writing and focus on other things. And, yet again, I didn’t quite make it. I have planned the next two chapters of my second book; the first whilst running to the beach and back and the second whilst practising yoga in front of my pin board for book 2. My stunning 1.5m wide, pale grey, felt, pine-edged pin board. It is so very beautiful.
The other writing I have done today, rather obviously, is the very blog you are reading now. It’s odd writing these nowadays, as I know of at least one very important person, outside of my immediate family, who will read it. There is something so disconcerting about writing for an audience.
Ridiculous, I know. My career as a writer depends on people spending their valuable time and money on reading my work. I write in order to be read. Yet, writing this very post, leaves me with that familiarly unnerving feeling of worry, that sense that someone will read this and judge this and…what if they don’t like it? Which anyone with a basic understanding of psychology could easily translate as…what if they don’t like me?
That is the thing about writing. We pour our whole selves into it; we spend hours writing and rewriting and honing and editing and creating. To create anything is to sacrifice a little of yourself. And how very vulnerable that can leave us.
I’m writing this post slightly scared you won’t like it.
I read the email from my incredible editor, Emily, stating that the novel had gone through to copy-ed with excitement and, I hate to say it, the smallest undercurrent of fear. Because what if the copy editor doesn’t like the book?
I will have to get used to this feeling. Hopefully, lots of people will read my book. Hopefully, lots of them will like it. But I know that, even if they don’t, I won’t stop. It would be like the greatest of challenges to change those readers minds with book two.
And still, the predominant feeling is that of thrill, achievement, excitement.