Just give it a week. You can say that about a lot of things can’t you!? A lot can happen in week, let’s think back to this time last week. Lydia was just a shark floating around the North Atlantic, by the weekend she was about to invade Cornish shores and now – by golly she’s allegedly up the duff!
This time last week we had no idea that Cheryl was about to return to the X Factor – I don’t know about you but I had totally not seen that coming. Now though, now I know all about it. I can’t tell you how easily I sleep at night.
This time last week the world laughed at Liza. NEVER LAUGH AT LIZA, THE WORLD. This time, this week – well, Liza is back to doing what Liza does best. Don’t question me on Liza. I HEART LIZA.
And this time last week I had just about finished the fourth draft of Glitter Red Shoes and Sky Blue Gingham. I was furiously tapping away, my word count steadily expanding, my satisfaction that I had almost done. I was on the final straight. It felt good.
Then I typed ‘The End’.
Then I felt a bit empty. A bit lonely. So I celebrated with a curly wurly. Three points on weight watchers you know. It’s no crème egg though.
Then I let the story fester. You are supposed to give it space, but in doing so I realised that the whole thing was another waste of about five months. Much like the first book I wrote. That it just wasn’t good enough. Again. That I am about to spend the next twelve months explaining to people that I’ve given myself a five year target and that I’m not yet half way through that. Whilst inside I slowly die at the prospect that my poor old husband has to support yet another year of my mid-life crisis.
And then it got worse. Because I realised that not only was the story not good enough, but I couldn’t even fix it because the only way to fix it was to bring back to life the person that started off dead. That she was the only person who could actually say what really happened and give us all the happy, fully resolved ending we are always searching for.
I ate more curly wurly’s. I drank a bit of gin. I wallowed in my writerly neurosis wondering why on earth I had ever thought that trying to do this was in any way a good idea. And then I started to research my next book. Making notes, dreaming, scribbling ideas in my brand new pad. And then the magic 7 days passed and whilst taking a leisurely swim before collecting the kids, my mind wandering around the prospects of book three – I HAD AN EPIPHANY. Total clarification. A fix. I knew exactly what I had to do to fix book two as best I possibly can.
And I wrote it. Saved it. Spell checked it. Celebrated with a curly wurly. And now I know that I have truly done the best that I can with this one. The story is the best that I can make it. And the writing is streets ahead of the first one I wrote. Is it good enough? Last time round I knew it wasn’t. This time round I’m not sure. Do I think I have done the story justice? No, I don’t think so. Do I think I have done the characters justice? In a strange way yes, story aside. Do I think that with better experience or external input it could be a better book? Absolutely. Just imagine if an agent saw it, saw potential, saw something that sparked their interest.
And so to the slush pile I go.
Just give it a week.