Stop Cleaning and Start Writing

Or What Happens When You Prioritise

My last blog post was a while ago. Almost two months in fact. And if you read that last one it would have given you a clue to my absence. I was writing.

I took four months off work last year to get the first draft of Thicker Than Water written. I had the luxury of getting up each morning and having the whole day spread before me to get the book written. It also meant that the weekends and evenings were there to relax and recharge. Let my subconscious mull things over. When I was back at my desk the following morning the words just flowed. It was easy.

However, mortgages have to be paid so the next draft had to be written around a full time job. Not so easy. Very little time for recharging and subconscious mulling. None at all in fact. It also meant that I made very little progress. My house was tidy, I was seeing my friends, I was running three times a week, I was up to date with all my favourite TV shows, I was Tweeting every day and my blog was packed full of fresh content. But the book was being rewritten at a snail’s pace. I despaired of it ever being finished and that the agent who had asked me to relook at it with some key changes would have forgotten all about me.

Drastic action was called for and a drastic action was what I took. Unless it involved keeping my girls alive with a roof over their head it was ditched. For two months. The book became the priority. On the train I wrote. When the girls had gone to bed I wrote, at the weekends when they were with their dad I wrote. I didn’t run, I didn’t clean my house, I didn’t see anyone. I certainly didn’t blog or Tweet. But it worked. I finished the rewrite. And it is much better than the first draft. I am excited about it. The tension has been ramped up and I am hoping the reader will find themselves asking questions all the way through to the end.

When I finally raised my head blinking in the sunlight after that two months I felt like Grizzly Adams living in a squalid shack with little to eat and matted hair that needs a good cut. Luckily I didn’t grow a beard. After a spruce up and a spring clean and a restocking of the fridge I now feel refreshed and reinvigorated. A weight is off my shoulders. I pressed send on the submissions emails yesterday and I can do nothing more now but wait. With everything crossed. Have I done enough?

And surprisingly what I was really keen to do was to pick up my blog and submerse myself in Twitter again. Writing is a solitary business and I have found that social media platforms like Twitter make me feel less alone. Less like an idiot for trying to write a book which might be successful when I know no one in the publishing business and the odds are long indeed.

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