Ahoy there, good morning, merry greetings and hello. I have been away from the blog of late due to having got myself into something of a pickle with the writing of novel 2 and ending up having to spend the last six weeks ignoring all activities that weren’t actually writing the sodding book. The sodding book (possibly not its final title) has now been sent off to my lovely publisher, Choc Lit, and I’m permitted to not think about it for a while, or at least until they send it back and tell me to have another go.
So, here I am with an unfamiliar sea of free time rippling in front of me. All sorts of excitements await. When I’ve finished here, for example, I am going to put some laundry in and then – and this is an exciting one – I’m going to wash my hair. Never let it be said that I don’t know how to live.
Before all that though, there’s some bloggy bloggy blogging to get blogged, which is tricky because my brain is still stuck in the imaginary world of novel 2. That’s one of the oddities of writing as a job, as opposed to being a lollipop lady (or lollipop gentleman) or managing a premiership football team. Writing is a freakishly blinkered affair. You invent a whole world, and people it with people (at least in my case – you can of course people it with elves or dragons or sentient lever arch files – the choice is yours), and then you live in that world for however long it takes to transfer that world and that story from brain to typing fingers to screen to page. That means that once the manuscript is done with and sent away, you find yourself in something of a lull. It’s what fellow Choc Lit author, Janet Gover, describes as the post-book meltdown.
With all the other jobs I’ve had the periods of stress usually came when there were too many diverse things to think about, competing for time and attention. With writing, at least when you’re in the final lead-up to a deadline, there is only one task: Write the sodding book (still not the final title). That single-mindedness is, for me at least, what leads to the meltdown. At the moment I’m at the crawling into the light stage, and I keep catching sight of all the things I’ve been putting off for the last few weeks: the form that came in the post at the start of March that I haven’t filled in yet; the piles of laundry that need putting away; the things in the back of the fridge that I’m not sure I can throw away without breaching the federation’s Prime Directive. All these things will need dealing with, before I regain the power of sufficiently complex thought to write you a blog post about something more interesting that the fuzzed up state of my brain.
Hopefully, that will be next week’s task, alongside starting the next book and doing it all again, obviously. I shall see you all there.
And as always, if you want to buy any of the lovely things I’ve already written, this is the place.