Tuesday 22 November 2011

Getting Nowhere Fast

Well, it's been a few weeks and I still don't know who the editor will be that handles the bit of the NV prize that is a critique of Honeymoon. But I know the other two finalists have been informed of their editors so hopefully it shouldn't be long, and I'm quite used to the waiting game. It comes with the territory of trying to break into category romance.

You'd think this lull in momentum would take away any pressure to get Honeymoon finished, but strangely the opposite seems to be true. I feel agitated that I'm not making enough progress, that it's going too slowly. My new obsession with self-editing inevitably slows down the completion of a finished first draft. I feel like it's miles away from my grasp when what I want is to have it done so I can send it in while there's a chance they'll still remember who I am!

My progress is impaired by a number of other practical things. Chief among them at the moment is the fact that the small one has apparently learned to regard the laptop as a competitor in her quest for my attention (domesticity and motherhood spent a bit of time on the back burner during NV and she'd obviously had quite enough of that, thank you very much!). If I so much as open it she pipes up 'Please can I play CBeebies on the pooter?' (CBeebies is a marvellous preschool website stuffed with games and activities but clearly its importance pales next to my MS doesn't it? Not for the small one.)

If I give her the laptop CBeebies will occupy her for a good half-hour, precious time I can spend writing. However, I can only use that time for writing longhand because I need the wretched laptop to convert my scrawl into a coherent word document. As a result my usual 50-50 ratio of handwritten-notepad to proper-draft-word-doc has morphed into hardly anything on the laptop and a huge, scruffy mess of pencil scrawl which hops randomly from scene to scene as my mind comes up with ideas. There's now so much of it that writing the thing up is ten times harder as I struggle to decipher it. And I'm still only on Chapter Five.

So swimming through treacle or pulling teeth. However I look at it, I'm finding it hard work right now. And am also feeling like an appalling inattentive mother. Perhaps if I set myself a deadline (Christmas) and start taking the laptop to bed...


  1. I am so impressed you write at all with a toddler; even though I first decided to really try writing when 8yo was 2 I found it impossible to write when she was awake - and she never napped! It was only a couple of years ago when I managed to write while she was awake. I have a tiny net-book that was cheap and is very portable that I use for day to day writing .
    I hope you find out your editor soon such a great and deserved opportunity.

  2. Thanks Jessica! Ive been thinking I should set myself a daily word count, something achievable, maybe that will help me feel like I'm progressing. I pick up and put down my notepad so many times a day but still feel I'm getting nowhere!

  3. Charlotte
    My writing used to be very spasmodic until I got myself a laptop. In winter I used to hate the cold of my office, in summer the stifling heat. So now with a lap top I can be flexible and go where ever I'm comfortable.
    Setting yourself a daily word count is a great idea. Just don't make it so high you get discouraged.

    Best of luck with your editor. I'm sure you'll gain a wealth of valuable knowledge from the experience.