It’s every author’s dream to have a book adapted for a film, but what does this starry notion actually mean? So far very little has changed in my life, save for the fact that in faraway Hollywood some wonderful people are toiling on a script deadline. Forget the idea of vast sums being paid at the offset, especially in the world of independent film-making and cult books.
28th February. 59 days Facebook free.
And my friends are starting to say ‘Maybe you’ll not go back on it.’ I’m not convinced, but maybe. We’ll see.
Anyway, back to the writing. As I said in yesterday’s post, February has been a bit of a write-off. I’ve been good at sticking to my writing routine, I’ve avoided Facebook, I’ve sat alone at my desk. And yet, I couldn’t write. I couldn’t even research. All I managed to do was keep up with the reading for my O.U course, and finally join the forum for it, to comment on what other people have written.
It’s my last post for Mslexia. I’m going to miss this opportunity to talk to you and hear about your experiences. During the time I’ve been writing these posts, my writing has shifted, progressed and faltered, much like life. I’m continuing to work on draft two of the novel. I’ve not managed 20 minutes every day but most days now I manage at least one 30 minute session, although even that has got shaky in the last fortnight. I also realise that balancing short story writing with novel writing is hard with limited energy. I don’t think there’s a way round it other than to lower my expectations again. In fact, lowering my expectations is probably going to be the theme for the next few months, more on that in a moment.
When I became a mother I rediscovered what it meant to be my mother’s daughter.
The first discovery was how much I needed her. We brought our daughter home from the hospital barely 24 hours after I delivered her. I felt overwhelmed with equal parts elation and horror. What on earth had just happened? The nine months I’d spent planning for, studying up on and talking about motherhood prepared me for the reality of it about as much as a Knickerbocker Glory. I wanted my mum. I didn’t dare admit it to anyone - I was a mother now, and I had a strong sense that that meant I should be tough, and brave, and definitely not in need of my mum – but I did.
Despite dealing with a lot of pain in my upper body over the last week, I have been managing to keep working slowly on the novel. My main focus has been preparing a synopsis, using Nicola Morgan’s excellent little e-book, and getting the first three chapters ready to send off for critique to Julie Cohen (one of my successful bids in the Authors for Philippines auction).
As a full-time writer who happens to have four children under the age of eight, the question I most often get asked is ‘how do you DO it?’ I find this an interesting question for a number of reasons – not least because I have yet to come up with a proper answer. I suppose one of these reasons is the fact that my husband has never once been asked this question. He’s not a writer. Maybe that has something to do with it, but I’m not so sure.
Last Friday I attended the London Writers’ Club Retreat. It was a two hour journey each way, luckily public transport was in a good mood that day. I had done more resting beforehand than I had planned, except that was due to struggling with a cold. Much of last week was spent feeling very tired indeed. However, by Friday the cold had pretty much passed through and as is often the case, my adrenaline got me up and out of bed like a bouncy Bobby.