Friday, 1 February 2008

Sitting in the Corner

Well, establishing the writing corner in the bedroom wasn’t quite as simple as I’d anticipated. (But then nothing ever is, is it? Except, strangely, breadmaking with our new machine. It just works away quietly and transforms flour, water, yeast and a pinch of this and that into bread. Amazing.)

But, generally, a couple of hours of book dusting, furniture removals and swearing over electrical equipment and old houses with an inadequate supply of sockets and I was good to go.

And, so far, the writing seems to be flowing better in the new space. I knew something had gone wrong about seven chapters ago and now I’ve discovered what and why and I’m in the process of rectifying things. I’m hoping that, once this glitch is sorted, I’ll be able to crack on with the last major section of the novel because I’d really like to have a first draft by Easter. That would mean that I might stand a fighting chance of having something to show Will, my editor, by about September.

Except I’m scared. Because he might not like it.

‘When’s the next one out?’ people have begun to ask.
‘When I’ve finished it and when Macmillan have decided whether they want to publish it’, I say, trying to be all breezily professional and up-beat.

They look astonished. ‘But once you’ve got your first one published, that’s it, isn’t it? Sorted? You can write what you like after that?’

I wander off to weep quietly somewhere, unobserved.

5 comments:

KAREN CLARKE said...

It's funny what people assume isn't it? I know a lady writer who can't get published at all in this country any more, despite having several published novels under her belt already (not that I'm trying to pile any more pressure on or anything!!)so it's not a foregone conclusion. I'm SURE that won't happen to you though. Oh god....slinks quietly away.

You've reminded me actually, to root out our bread-maker - which is still languishing in the garage from when we moved!

Faye L. said...

I was lucky in the sense that I didn't really experience performance anxiety with the second book I wrote, as most of it was already written by the time CTM was accepted by MNW, so I was able to write it in that "dance like no one's looking" way. (The fact it's packed to bursting with things that fascinate me helped as well.)

So most of my what-if-Will-hates-it paranoia has been with the one I'm currently redrafting, and therefore instead of second novel jitters, I'm having third novel jitters. I have to be awkward...

David Isaak said...

Hi, guys--

I'm an anxious, anguished sort of writer anyhow--even if I'm trying to write something sort of lighthearted--so writing a follow-on to S&A feels much like it normally does.

Like Faye, I was already about finished with another novel when MNW took S&A. But I gather Faye was wise enough to write something that was a logical follow-on to CTM--something at least recognizable as being by Faye L. Booth.

Others of us are not so smart...

David Isaak said...

Oh, yeah, I forgot: our follow-on book really ought to be better, too, right?

Sorry. That was wrong of me. I'll keep those to myself.

Alis said...

Hi David - yeah, the whole thing about writing something vaguely recognisable as my work... failed there! Is it a sequel? people ask. No, I say. Same place though? No, I say. In fact different place, time, people and concept. Ho hum...