So there it is. The beginning of the end … of the second beginning. Confused? Don’t be. I have this all under control. It’s January, the first month of a New Year. The world and the interweb is full of new plans, 21 day detoxes, 21 days to change you life, break an old habit, start a new one, grow a brain, take over the world. What better time for me to kick myself good and hard up the anus and get finishing this book.
When I started this book (for real over three years ago) and this blog (nearly two years ago now) I was full of rookie arrogance. I had listened to many authors during the MA who said it took years to write a book. The fools I thought. They were obviously mere mortals and not an undiscovered literary genius like moi who was going to have a masterpiece produced and perfected within a few months – a year at the most. And then life railroaded through my haughty conceit and took over all my shit.
I blogged on and off … and on and off again. I wrote in spluttering spurts – between work, school, ballet, football, summer, winter, dinner, housework, homework, procrastination, desperation. Some days it flowed. Some weeks it became a desert of dust and broken promises. I joined Facebook groups for writers with great intentions, only to be left feeling a fraud and completely inadequate. Reading articles about how people rose at 4:30am to squeeze in some writing before the kids woke sounded ingenious – that is until I tried it myself and realised there was no way in hell my body and brain were going to play ball. I lost the drive, and lost some of the belief. How could I call myself a writer when I collapsed in front of the TV, exhausted from another day in the life of a family with five kids, while others wrote while breastfeeding and power walking on stilts?
Then I joined a group of women who gave me back my pizzazz. We have a name for our little group which I cannot mention here due to the filthy nature of some of its letters – but which I will proudly announce when Graham Norton is interviewing me about the movie version of my book (watch this space!). Through this group I became proactive – attending literary events and workshops, taking part in NaNoWriMo, becoming a mindfully meditating hippie who believes in the law of attraction and positive vibes. And bit by bit I wrote. When I could, where I could. And through this sideways, bum shuffle through treacle method of writing that I employed ( I may have to patent that one) I have managed – no, not managed, but succeeded – in writing over 100,000 words of my novel.
It’s still not finished, but it’s nearly there. And that is where the New Year’s 21 day resolution comes into play. I am giving myself 21 days to finish the first draft. There is so much I want to change – the whole story style and timeline of the book – but this will have to wait until draft two. For now I need to finish the story, and bring my characters to their final destination. For the first time since I began writing I have a plan. This evening I mapped out the book to the end and worked out what I will be writing over the next seven days, at which point I will map out the next seven and the next until I hit the magic 21 day deadline.
And would you believe that the day I finish the book will be exactly two years to the day from when I started this blog (ok … so if any of you anal retentive followers actually check that fact you will see it will, in truth, be two years and one day, but that does not have the same jaw dropping effect so give me some poetic licence – I am an artist after all).
So my friends, I would love if you could stick with me for a little longer. Let’s ride the last wave together. Let’s touch the stars and see the future.
Oh, by the way, that future involves listening to me moan all the way through the second draft and more than likely the third. But it will be worth hanging in there to be with me when the book deal comes and then, when you are out in company you can proudly announce “Sure I knew her before she became famous.” and add, if you need to, “she was grand back then, but she’s gotten awful full of herself now.”
Oíche mhaith my little petals.