Thursday 5th October 2017

I’ve been a bit all over the place the last few weeks.  The Climb has been late going up and if I’m honest I’m feeling a little frustrated with progress on just about everything.

Publishing moves glacially slow.  Books are big complex things and so they take time to get right, and what I’ve learnt as I’ve moved invisibly up the ladder is that it only gets more difficult and challenging.

You rush to get things done, you push yourself and stress you’re being slow.  Then there’s a hit of sudden relief as you send it off… and then you wait.  Never mind that your agent has been waiting for you for months to get the changes done, the time always seems longer when you are the person waiting rather than doing.

I hate the waiting.  Everyone has told me to get used to it as it’s a hallmark of the industry but this is why I need to keep busy.  Because I worry that there’s something wrong, or that I’m a fool to believe the things I believe, that my faith in the book is misplaced.

This is why I need to keep myself busy, to take my mind off things, to quieten the voices in my head that scream delusional and fraud.  This is why I’ve started work on editing book 2.

Except I’m always a bit slow at the start of a project as I find my rhythm.  Add to this a few stresses in my person life and whilst I’m great, I’m restless.  I feel in limbo.

Usually when I feel like this I turn to my swordfighting to find something to focus my forward momentum.  But I’ve achieved my goals for this year, smashed them even, and all I’m left with is that sinking feeling that things have gone too much my way and I’m due for a few bad tournaments.  As much as I would like a Swordfish final… I genuinely don’t see it happening.

And so, I find myself trying to get my head into the themes of book 2, trying to find depths to my character which I can mine in this draft.  And I think I’ve found some I maybe didn’t really draw upon in the first draft.

I’m excited about this.  Given that I’m ahead at the moment, it means I’m not in a rush to get this edit done.  That means I can enjoy it.  It also means that I can waste an evening watching Youtube and chatting to people rather than doing actual work.

I’m bound to be slow to get back into things following my break but I don’t feel sharp.  I have a million and one things to do and it’s in these days that the hard grind gets done.  This is where I put in the thankless footwork that will reap me rewards in the future.

But at the moment all I can see is frustration and worry, coupled with annoyance at myself for not editing.

However, if it does come with one benefit, it does mean I can enjoy the second draft of book 2.  I remember when I wrote Black as Knight thinking it would be a book that would appeal to no-one but me.  Now it seems like an important book, a book that will be very special to some people.  It has weight to it, it has responsibility.

I need to find my fun again.  Book 2 is a little too dark at the moment so perhaps it needs to have a bit more fun.

Perhaps I do too.

If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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