That Difficult Second Album

I’m sorry! I had the best of intentions – but, again, I haven’t posted for ages… I have a huge range of excuses for this but there are three main reasons and I’ve only myself to blame. Well, my husband too. Anyway, them aside, like most new(ish) writers, I have been trying to earn a crust and also deal with book-related admin. Also I have been metaphorically running as fast as I can away from the prospect of finishing this book that I’m working on.

Again, I have various excuses for this too. Mostly though I think it’s a confidence thing. You finish your first book and you have high hopes but realistic, small expectations. But, the thing is, it’s all well and good having a word with yourself where you remind yourself how hard publishing is and how many books are out there and blah, blah, blah. But it’s quite another thing to get back in the saddle and strike off westwards. When you’ve written one book a whole new bunch of potential horrors present themselves. Now you’ve had your debut shot, the next thing you have to do is write something else. Gah!

I already knew what I was going to write about next while I was finishing Anywhere’s Better Than Here. Months later, I’m still relatively happy (although “happy” is not at all the right word) with that idea and I’m now about 3/4s of the way through the first draft. The editor I’m working with has been positive and the initial readers are enjoying it, but I can’t seem to work up the interest and focus to finish the bloody thing.

Every time I sit down in front of it, I feel like it’s looking at me sullenly, annoyed that I’m so intermittently available to tell the story. And I feel terrible! I know I need to take the advice I give people when I facilitate writing classes. Just get on with it! First drafts are meant to be shit!

I know! I know!

So now I need to put that voice that says, “you’re not really a writer – the book was a fluke” out of mind (or at least ignore its mutterings and cheeky looks) and just get it done.

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I knew this would happen…

When I started this blog I had a feeling that I’d be true-to-form and lose interest and wander off. However, I will not be beaten by my inner work-shirker and am now going to take up where I left off. Please forgive my slackitude.

Right, since last we spoke, I’ve chaired a few exciting salons (including A.L. Kennedy and William Letford), attended the fabulous happening that is the Stanza International Poetry Festival (finally seeing Robin Robertson), been teaching at Stirling University (really good fun and a nice new challenge), read at the lovely Aye Write festival (for the gutter 08 launch, with Claire Quigley and John Jennett who were both great), started working with a mentor, crashed my car (narrowly escaping death, but totally murdering my new car) and visited a psychic (more of that in a later post). I have also written about 1000 words. Not all of them tremendously marvellous.

Not surprisingly, in amongst all these hectic happenings (which have also included two funerals and a christening in the last two week period) my mood has been -ahem- variable. I need to start a routine of sorts and get writing seriously. I’ set myself a deadline of finishing the first draft of my current project by mid August. And then I set another, sort of internal deadline, of mid June. Which is quite soon but possible, I think.  I’ve got to write another 40,000 or so words. So, if nothing else, I’ve given myself a challenge. I just need to see it through, which I’ve established is something i’m not amazing at.

However, all (well, most) things are possible. So we’ll see…