The noveI I am currently writing has been a struggle.
BOY has it been a struggle. I don’t exactly know why.
I don’t know if the success of the novel before it, The Most Beautiful Thing, has created a crushing weight of expectation in me. I don’t know if it’s been the changes in my personal life (new husband, town, house, religion, name). I don’t know if I’ve just got into bad habits.
I do know that taking three weeks away from the internet has been very good for it. I have finished my second and third drafts and am part-way through the fourth. It will be ready before the end of the year. It WILL. And thanks to my mum it has a title now too: Afterwards. I can’t wait for you to meet April.
Looking back, I wonder if I could have handled this period of not-writing more skilfully. Was there something different I could have done?
I think I downplayed how important it was for me to make time to write. I think I pretended that I was happy to write the book more slowly, or that maybe I was happy to not be a writer at all for a while.
It wasn’t okay, and I wasn’t okay. It is only in retrospect that I can see how much it pained me to not make progress with my writing for such a long time.
I will try and listen more closely to my soul in the future. I will try to take myself more seriously when I have a niggling doubt or a persistent urge. Whether or not it is convenient. Whether or not it is comfortable.
I neglected April, and I neglected the parts of myself that wanted something different. I am sorry. I will make things right by continuing to write.
Put your ear down close to your own soul and listen. What is it saying?
Photo by tomt6788