Esteemed readers (all seven of you),
I hereby promise not to be-moan the ‘process’ of writing novels in the lame manner of “my 1079th draft is giving me a headache” ever again. I also pledge to tattoo upon my knuckles no one cares if I am even tempted.
Nor will I whinge about the folly of writing with small babies and sleep deprivation even if I am so delirious with said deprivation most of the time I can’t see the edges of things and I permanently hear whistling in my ears. Repeat: no one cares.
Nor will I itemise the intricate details of the publishing process and my own little journey through it, although it is undeniably exciting to see the UK cover and the US cover (both beautiful, both so different) and sense the wheels of the publisher-machinery beginning to grind and know that out of a million word documents, finally, a tangible thing will soon exist. With acknowledgement pages* and blurbs and suchlike.
I shall never again absolutely never note my own personal ‘process’ regarding the writing of Book2 because we all know that it involves elements of OCD and personal neuroses that are best not shared.
I shall keep my tweet-reading to a minimum to stave off the holy terrors at the thought of my book being launched on to the murky seas and I shall work furiously on thickening up my idiotically thin skin.
I shall be (and am) grateful to fellow-writers for their kindness, support and advice; and grateful to readers who are angels and editors who are saints (or maybe that’s the other way round?).
As I am currently undergoing an intense bout of Virginia Woolf reading I’ll quote Lorna Sage’s introduction to The Voyage Out: “The novel of beginning on the world is a rite of passage, an odyssey of sorts. It is where you ‘find your bearings as a writer’… Woolf… wanted to shrink England and get English life into a new perspective.”
I shall also try not to think about this, from the same introduction: “Few literary debuts have been more fraught with self-doubt, self-consciousness, ambition and dread”. And certainly not this: “work on the novel was interrupted by her collapses into despair and deulsions, and was also interwoven with them. Her reworkings, additions, and suppressions reveal a colossal anxiety, and an equally obsessive determination to continue at all costs.’
*Nor will I let it be known that I have been writing my acknowledgement page in my head since I was six. What a loser.