So, I’ve written this book. I started it a while back and writing, unfettered, as you do, produced something that size-wise, could have been the love-child of War and Peace and Gone With The Wind. Even I could see perhaps a certain amount of editing might not go amiss, so being a woman of action, I put it away in a drawer for when I had the time. And there it languished.
For several years!
And then I found my copywriting business veering in a serendipitous direction, so that whilst still producing material for businesses, I was also lucky enough to be working with clients writing books on various topics. Well, never one to hold back when it comes to sticking an oar in, there I was, busy knickering away, advising left right and centre and generally holding forth, when a worrying thought occurred. If I was doing what I was doing, oughtn’t I perhaps pull my finger out, put my money where my mouth was, get the scars and the tee-shirt and write a book too? Which is how and why my novel, Relatively Strange, is now seeing the light of day.
Of course there’s a huge amount of pleasure to be had writing a book, particularly whilst it’s just you, your characters (who you love, why wouldn’t you?) and the computer. The tricky bit and I’m sure I’m not the first to suss this, is when it comes to showing it to a third party. Suddenly, what up until now you’ve viewed in a rather positive light, overnight turns into the biggest load of rubbish anyone, anywhere at any time has produced – ever!
Still, you put a brave face on it and give the (now mercifully edited) version to your nearest and dearest. You intimate they must be totally honest and you’re man enough to take any criticism – concurrently making them aware that in the event of aforementioned criticism, you might just slit your wrists. This, I will note, is not an easy concept to get across, but it can (and indeed, should) be done.
You then spend the next several days casually squinting out the corner of your eye, pretending not to watch your book being read, in reality noting with bated breath every fractional reaction. Why are they not laughing? Why are they not crying? Why are they frowning – is there something they don’t understand or is it just a typo they’ve tripped over? This stage of the proceedings (for both parties) is certainly not for the faint-hearted!