I have hardly done any journalism in the last couple of years, as I’ve been majorly distracted by writing novels.
I love the idea of a big project. And there are days, weeks when I am really pleased with my own work. But these are often succeeded by the discovery of a thirteen month pregnancy, or fifteen unlinked scenes in a row and wondering why I have sunk years of my life into such drivel. Other writers will understand the despair.
Anyway, I am finally getting somewhere. After several lightbulb moments at the York Festival of Writing, I ditched the novel I’d been writing for twelve years, and wrote another one based on the same characters.
Then last month, I picked up the original. Two years later, my ego had moved on. I could look at the novel as if it’s someone else’s, without delusion or despair. I needed to restructure the middle and that’s what I’m doing now.
Book 2, now called Baby Roulette, is out with a professional editor, my mother and mother-in-law. As Ian Rankin said in a BBC documentary, ‘when you finish a book, it’s the best book ever produced, or the best in your genre, or the best book you’ve ever written…and then other people read it.’
The next few days feel like a rush to restructure Book 1 before the feedback for Baby Roulette comes in. I’ve pencilled in a couple of days ego-management immediately after that (lying down in a dark room, watching rom coms, eating Dark Milk etc).