Wednesday, 8 October 2014
the writer's edition: month 18 check-in, or 'what happened when I finished my first full-length manuscript'
That night, dinner burned in the background as I drank my celebratory glass of red wine and life went on as usual. I thought of the very ordinary things other writers must have been doing in the background as they worked on their manuscripts: cooking dinner, washing clothes, overseeing homework. I knew that all the time I had spent writing could all be for nothing, that I wouldn't hear so much as a peep from publishers if there weren't interested.
But in the end, it was about me rather than anyone else. It was about wanting to write a book for my whole life, as soon as I knew it was something that people did. It was about stopping saying 'one day' and saying 'today'. It was about realising that the loss of 15,000 words in a particularly tough self-edit didn't mean that my novel was dead - it was about breathing life into it when the existing words weren't strong enough. My first full length manuscript may or may not make it into print, but guess what? It's not going to stop me either way.
Next week I start on my second full length manuscript, an idea that has been floating around for a while now. I'm looking forward to giving it some air space and discovering my next lot of characters, more imaginary people for me to fall in love with. This time around, I'm looking forward to using my experience with the first manuscript to aid in this next creation. And yes, in the background, I'll be doing the school run and unloading the dishwasher and getting children ready for school. I will be just me, but the me who is working at achieving her lifelong dream.