Please forgive the long hush/gap in comms but February went by in a haze of deadline fatigue. Don't think I've ever written a book quite as fast before, and frankly, it's not an experience I'd care to repeat, but a bit like what is coyly termed a 'precipitate labour' ( think three contractions and you're done...) it does at least have the advantage of getting the horrible bit over and done with quickly.
Yes- sometimes writing is horrible. It's a shocking admission, but after several of the great and the good 'came out' in last week's Guardian to tell all that they loathed writing and would rather floss with a circular sander than sit down with their blank pages day after day after day, I feel empowered to add my name to the list of Authors who Wrestle with Demons. It's not always the pits, but for a fair amount of the time I spend sitting at my desk conjuring words out of thin air, it is a lonely, gruelling task, and one that I can come to dread if the writing isn't going well.
Why do we do it? I can only speak for myself in saying that I go through the grey blahhhhs secure ( -ish) in the knowledge that eventually, I'll emerge out into the sunny uplands. The good outweighs the grim, and the good feels so damn good that it's worth the pain. Or something like that.
Last week we had World Book Day which involved loads and loads of children and not nearly enough cakes, and the week before, I had a Significant Birthday which involved loads of trekking across peat bogs and narrow cliffside goat-paths and not nearly enough lazing around sipping champagne and eating chocolates. And for the three weeks before that, I was doing a fine impersonation of Boring Mummy Who Shrieks and Writes 24/7. Not, I must say, a good look.
Now I'm deep in the Edit, which is a stage I've come to relish ; far more craft than Art, but consequently, the pressure to create is lessened, and the sheer enjoyment of refining, honing, tweaking and finally polishing is putting a smile on my face and a spring in my step. Sadly though, it's not putting a whole lot of moolah in my bank account, but hey - these days, why the heck would I want to put anything in one of those? Banks? Meh...
And finally, today felt like spring was winning. Time to redecorate the blog. Much as it pained me to take down the dragons in the snow picture and haul it upstairs to the blogattic, I hope its replacement finds favour. The running foxes with wind-tossed trees are from a book called Stormy Weather which, if Western capitalism doesn't crash and burn beforehand, will be published this coming October.You saw it here first.