Currently I am making a huge push on Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts – nearing the end of an endless draft, which will be the second last.
In a week’s time, I’ll hand my file over to D, who will give me some suggestions for tidying it up. That will take as long as it takes BUT after that, after I print it out (for symbolic effect more than anything else, and some final red-penning), I will send the whole thing off to my kind and patient agent Drea Cohane.
That is the plan for the next month. It looks clean, simple. But I am knee deep in words. Yesterday I heavily edited fifteen pages. Today, after D makes himself scarce, I shall try to do the same. As I lie down to sleep, scenes pummel my brain. Scenes already written and things that must come. Even after the ms is sent off, I know that there will be more to do to it. But all this is the true work of a novel, as far as I have experienced. It’s grubby and exhausting and painstaking. But it is what makes a writer, what makes a novel.
Of course, sometimes I end up fried out and flailing. Of course I need to write here, to hear from you. Sympathy, understanding. I am kept afloat by viewers here and the people in my life who support me in all their different ways. Early in the morning, or right after I finish a huge section I am at my most drained. So I go for constructing pleasant worlds, or, as today, for music.
‘Puts me to work’ by Cate Le Bon. An appropriate choice, and utterly charming.
Now, some tea. Changed from the gym (working out is also keeping my energy up, and luckily I have time for it most days). Then – onwards and inwards and through the white and black until it trembles and so do I.