Hang Down Your Head

Routine doesn’t always agree with me. The last two weeks have been very little other than proofreading, writing, and more proofreading, and writing, and I’m at a stage at the moment where it’s very hard to be confidant. The really frustrating thing is that, to be honest, I need a clear week, a stretch of at least seven days where I can just sit down and do nothing but write, because I’m at that stage where doing little chunks here and there is only helping so much. I’ve chosen a project – I know what I’m doing, it’s just still very sketchy in my head, and I want to be able to get it more firmly structured in my head.

I guess I’m just getting annoyed at myself. I’ve gotten too used to rewriting – writing brand new stuff, fresh raw material feels awkward and weird, and I end up frustrated, wishing that it didn’t feel so much like throwing spaghetti randomly at a wall and hoping that I get some pretty pictures.

I find it hard to keep confidant in myself, especially with the idea of writing another novel. The knowledge that whichever way, it’s going to be a long, hard slog. The knowledge that I’m not in a situation where I can quite as easily do stuff like disappearing off to Cornwall for a month, like when I was writing the first draft of The Hypernova Gambit. The knowledge that (self pity alert) I don’t have someone in my life who’s going to hug me when I’m down, and tell me that of course I can do it, and pick me up and dust me off when I metaphorically fall down. I’ve got to do that myself now, and sometimes it’s a bit difficult to do it.

But I know what’s really bothering me.

It’s the book.

I’ve crossed the two-month barrier since the most recent uber-rewrite was completed and sent out to the Editor Who Shall Not Be Named, and of course, in terms of publishing, two months is nothing. But I’m finding this very, very hard. For a start, I’m basically back in the same mode that I was before all this wild and crazy rewrite adventure began – waiting to see what happens, waiting to see if I get turned down or not. I’m also in a situation where there aren’t a huge number of options left. The book can’t be re-sent to people who’ve turned it down – doesn’t matter if it is significantly better than before (which it is).

It’d be easier if I didn’t know how much of a difference it would make to me right now. It’d be easier if I didn’t know, with an absolute certainty, that it really was the very, very best that I could possibly do, that I pulled off stuff in those last three weeks of the rewrite that I really didn’t think I was capable of. It’d be easier if I wasn’t absolutely certain that there is some really kick-ass stuff in there. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s brassy, it’s outrageous and unapologetic for what it is. And it could still get turned down.

I just want to press fast-forward. I know the realities. I know that if it gets turned down, there’s nothing I can do to change it. It’s just been a really tough twelve months, and if life’s going to give me another kick in the face, I wish it’d just get on with it so I can get on with picking myself up, dusting myself off, and moving on.

(I’m caught between a mad certainty that something’s going to happen as a result of this, and a downbeat cynicism that it’d all be too easy if it worked out at this point.)

I’m just stuck in one of those points where not much is happening, and it’s very easy to over-think stuff when not much is happening.

I’ll improve. I’ll get through this.

And whatever happens, even if the news I eventually get is bad, I’m not giving up on The Hypernova Gambit yet. And I’m going to keep going on my new project.

And eventually, I’m going to reach my target.

Now, for food, and happier thoughts.

2 thoughts on “Hang Down Your Head

    • Thanks. Is much appreciated! Tomorrow afternoon may not be doable, as I’m so worryingly busy right now, but I will do my best to drop you a line soon. Hope all’s well in the land of Hampshire…


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