Friday, 22 June 2007

Panic and Emptiness

First of all it's not THAT bad. It's just a phrase I like, I love Conran- he's one of my favourite writers.

I have a lot to do - but it is doable. I have plan and schedule and a desk and a lunch hour and a clocking off time when I go to pick up my little girl up at six pm. There actually are enough hours in the day, I know because I've worked it out. Now I just have to do it, or I should say the rest of it because a lot of it is already done. It's just that speaking as a person who really can't stand heights, taking that final step off the precipice and into the headlong descent of the last big push is giving me vertigo.

But in the end (by which I mean tomorrow, I'm on schedule remember!) I will feel the fear and I'll throw myself back into it and attack it and live it and breath it and love it until it is done. Because I love this. I love writing, yes it stresses me out sometimes, yes it keeps me awake in the middle of the night, YES I am sometimes to be found banging my head against the burr walnut of my expensive desk BUT THIS IS ME and the idea of giving up is impossible to imagine. At the risk of going all Gloria Gaynor this is what I do and what I love and I never forget how privileged I am to be able to do it. (Plus, I Will Survive)

There are few things in this life better than the free fall into writing, that wonderful tumble of words and ideas that somehow eventually find a form and make a book. So what I should do is stop with the Panic and Emptiness nonsense and get on with it. Enough with the pep talk.

Friday, 15 June 2007

The Wood for the Trees

I've been beset by ideas this week, which you (or one, if we're being posh) would think is a good think, But I'm not so sure. Too many ideas confuse the plot and slow down the pace and I've learnt over six books that you can't fit all the ideas or indeed all the characters that you have created at the begining in to one book, some will have to go along the way which can be hard to do - especially when you love your ideas and characters. So I've handed what I have over to my dear trusted editors to ask for their opinion, which I highly value. I hope it will keep me focused and my eye on the end goal so I don't end up writing four books in one by mistake! I keep having ideas for other books too, which is also good but can be a little bit of a problem when the new fresh idea keeps popping into your head saying'' write me, write me, it will be much more fun than that old thing you've devoted half a year to!' and you have to shut it up and shove it back in the drawer. (Real or Metaphorical either one.) I met fabulous writer Jean Ure last week at a librarian's thing in Kent and she told me to write every single idea down and keep it for as long as it takes because one day you'll be able to use it and ideas are a precious commodity. So I'm not going to moan about my idea influx, I'm going to write them all down in a book and put them in a real drawer and save them for the inevitable rainy day!

Friday, 1 June 2007

Running to Stand Still

This week I had to take a break from my book to do some housekeeping on other projects. It couldn't be avoided, and I love the fact that I get to work on more than one kind of book and write two or three books a years(two children's one adult) I consider myself very lucky. I've been working on the second draft of RUBY PARKER HOLLYWOOD STAR during the day and reading the page proofs for the American Edition of THE ACCIDENTAL MOTHER in the evenings, both things needed to be completed by the end of this week. It's fun to go back and read Ruby Parker after a few months break and with fresh eyes. I realised that my editor did have a point when she said sometimes my thirteen year old heroine sounds like a twenty-five year old who's been around the block! Writing a series is interesting because you have to get back into the skin of the main character every time you begin a new book, especially if it's told in the first person as the Ruby books are. Clearly at the beginning of the first draft of this book it took me a little longer than I thought! As for reading the page proofs for the US Edition of The Accidental Mother, that's just fun. I'm excited about it being published in the states. It's a book I'm really attached to and that did very well in the U.K. I really like my U.S editor too. I'd love it to sell a few copies over there, but I suppose I'll have to cross my fingers until September 2007 and wait and see! But as we all know pre-publication fear is pretty much par for the course in the this job. That and post publication anxiety!

Anyway starting first thing on Monday back to the book and I'll be powering ahead, because now the fire had been lit and I'm flying!