It’s been a bit of a bad week – writing wise. Getting back in the swing of things after illness and holiday means that all manner of other tasks have intruded on my late evenings. As a result poor Anne is still stuck in the middle of the fifth draft, wondering when I am going to let her be read. I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow morning, when I can fire up my Nespresso machine and just immerse myself in Anne’s world as she carves out a new life for herself under the Langeland sun.
I’m not going to talk about how incredibly difficult it can be to be a writer when you have the day job to worry about, because we all know that already. There’s not a writer out there (even the ones currently raking in the millions) who can’t empathise with those frustrations. Maybe there are a few lucky exceptions who’ve won the lottery or who have trust funds. Today at lunch I was telling some of my colleagues about the work that comes after the writing – the editing. They could not believe how many drafts we go through, how many times we hack our way through the same forest.
I said, ‘Think of it like building a house. The first draft gets the basic structure in place. By the end, it should be beautifully decorated and the garden should be landscaped.’ I know I’ve said that before but I like that metaphor. So you can see the problem, you try landscaping a garden when you come home exhausted.
I still have my short story to write and at the moment the two are fighting each other for my attention.
I’m also rather embarrassed to admit how messy this place is at the moment. I swear my dining table is like a black hole that just attracts every single item that doesn’t quite feel it belongs anywhere else. Library books waiting to be read, bills waiting to be paid, phones, chargers, ironing… I love that beautiful, fleeting moment when it’s completely clear and I wouldn’t freak out if my parents suddenly showed up for a surprise visit. I really need to make this place habitable again tomorrow, as well as making progress on Chocolates on My Pillow and writing the short story. No wonder I fall behind.
The problem with habits is that they’re much easier to break than get back into again.
I really need to shape up next week.