To equalise the pressure

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.


Filed under Uncategorized

7 responses to “To equalise the pressure

  1. The conceptual house cleaning part of the whole process is grubby. And endlessly taxing. So true.

  2. JWA

    illegitimi non caborundum! – if it’s fair to describe angsty-blocky-exhaustion as properly a bastard. Anyway V V much look forward to reading it anon…

  3. Patricia

    I hope, a couple of days from when you posted this, your angst has eased. Not being a novel writer, I have no words of wisdom to offer, but I am a reader and book lover, so I know the world of words is wonderful. But when I am stressed and drained, I seek out lovely art to look at, to just absorb the colour, line and shape without thoughts (words). That is my suggestion for one of your “pleasant worlds” to go to when you need comfort and renewal. Also, as a lifelong reader, I thank you for navigating and enduring all the struggle and toil to produce books.

    • Yes, looking at art helps. Looking too at pictures of wildernesses far from books. I’m so glad we have the internet to connect us – to art, to photographs of places we may never visit, to instances that would otherwise have gone fleeting by. I wish I could read more – like you, I love books. And they bring me a lot of joy. But right now too many words.

      The struggle is self inflicted – an urge that is both knackering and elevating. I’m always happiest when I’m writing. In that moment and the rest of the day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s