Today was a really unproductive day that ended up with a last minute breakthrough that will be productive in the long run… welcome to the life of a writer 😂
For the past six months, I have been driving myself bonkers stopping and starting books. I realise that for many self publishers, seven books in two years is barely even a lot, but I can see now that it burned my wee brain out! I finished Broken Mirrors over Midsummer weekend in Sweden, with the intention of giving myself the next couple of weeks as holiday then getting stuck into the next book when I got back to Glasgow.
Instead I ended up unexpectedly plotting the next Glasgow Kiss book while still in Stockholm (I had to run out and buy a load of post its and a notebook 🙄), then I got back to Glasgow, wrote several thousand words and… stopped.
No matter, I thought — I’ll try a different idea.
Which I did. Several thousand words later, I stopped. Another idea. Stopped.
So on and so forth until November, when I finally realised that I needed a proper break from writing novels. Luckily, at that time I had lots of work on the Super Secret Script Projects; Various to keep me busy. I cancelled the pre orders I’d stupidly set up, and decided I wouldn’t even think about my next book until after Christmas at least.
Which I broke the week before Christmas when I started thinking about one of the ideas I’m dying to write and spent a couple of days plotting, but still, by my standards, it was a break.
So here we are! Finally ready to start writing the idea I’ve been quietly falling in love with for weeks and weeks now.
It’s hard to articulate exactly, because the first few days on a draft often consist of wrestling with the first paragraph and hating it… but this was different. This is a big idea, and aside from anything else it requires a LOT of research, which I’m dying to do… at the right time, which is not now.
I went for a run in the afternoon, totally gutted and frustrated and wondering if I would ever write another book. No plans in the evening, so basically watched TV in a bad mood. Grumped off to bed.
Just as I was falling asleep, I remembered one of the other ideas I’d started back in the summer, and knew right away that it was the next book. It’s also a big one, but one that’s already been rattling round my head for years and years, so it’s… ready 🤷♀️
That’s when I realised that story ideas are a bit like whisky. The story that became Dark of Night percolated in my head for well over a decade before it popped out all rich and peaty. The one that I’ve been falling in love with is only a couple of years old: it’s full of potential, but currently still tastes like bathtub gin 🙂
But Hollywoodland — it’s even older than Dark of Night, but because of its nature, it’s like a special edition rare cask that needed to be matured to perfection…
Okay, I’ve taken that analogy to wankiness 😂 Hollywoodland is the next book. I actually wrote most of the first book over the summer, but I’m not going to announce a specific publication date until it’s ready as it might still be a bit stop and start with script commitments, but it’s on its way!
Today tore the script from last week apart and put it back together. Feels good. It’s still at an early stage, but it’s starting to resemble the story I want to tell. Celebrated with a long walk along the Kelvin River with a friend.
Great aerial yoga class in the morning, but annoying splitting headache the rest of the day meant it wasn’t the most productive 😫 Tackled a few footery admin tasks that don’t require too much thought or concentration.
Today shall go down in history as the day that the script was cracked. It was roughly in place on Tuesday, but today I worked through the whole thing from beginning to end (pasting in a lot of scenes from last week’s draft, I didn’t write all 60 pages from scratch!). Needs some polishing, but it’s there. Hallelujah!
Was supposed to see Little Women in the evening, but brain was completely out of batteries so collapsed in front of the new season of Grace & Frankie instead.
Spent today sending out some new pitches, chasing old ones, setting up some new ads for my books, invoicing, all that kind of jazz. Got a meeting with another production company in Stockholm, made contact with an agent in London, got insured as a yoga teacher. A very satisfying end to the week 😊
Over the weekend polished the script and sent it to the producers, caught up with one of my favourite people, and sold some books at a fair. It’s always terrifying clicking ‘send’ on a draft. However pleased with it you were seconds earlier, you immediately remember all the flaws and have to stop yourself following up with ‘I mean, obviously that bit isn’t quite there yet, and this scene still needs work, I can change this whole section… actually it’s complete shit, DON’T READ IT!!!’ I resisted though… for now 😆
Ooh — also read Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly this week, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
All in all a fairly quiet but productive week!