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Hell Why Not?

You ever get those moments in your life when you just can’t think of a good reason not to do something? I wrote a novel about a year and a half ago. I put my heart and soul into it (and most of my not-at-work-not-with-kids-time too), I absolutely loved writing it. When I finished it I knew the that hard work had only just begun, writing is comparatively easy, getting published is nigh on impossible (unless of course you write about teenage vampire sex kittens with a penchant for bondage). I submitted to a handful of agents, most of whom were polite enough and some who were even pretty constructive in their rejection, but they did nevertheless reject me. In a nice way I’m sure.

What an awful word. Reject. Like a broken piece of furniture that ends up in the sale pile in Ikea. Or like 10 million other unpublished authors come to think of it. It’s tough at the time, makes you feel a bit crap. Like you personally have been rejected, which in a way you have. It is intensely personal after all. Writing a novel, particularly a first novel can’t help but be largely autobiographical.

So anyway back to the point.

Recently I decided to pick it up and dust it off and consider giving it another go. I reread the feedback carefully and saw it for what it was. Encouraging and constructive. There’s a lot right with my writing, there’s a lot wrong with the character and the start and the finish (oh and maybe the middle come to think of it) of the book, but the fundamentals are there.

I have arrived at a point in life where I don’t want to wait for chances that might not come, I want to make the chances for myself. Maybe it’s seeing the children grow up so fast that makes me realise things move on and there’s no point in languishing in self doubt or self consciousness. Just get on and do what you feel you need to do. Or maybe it’s being exceptionally busy, both at work and at home. Maybe it’s all the running that makes me just move faster physically and mentally. Whatever it is I feel that I don’t want that book I wrote to come to nothing. I want to give it another shot.

Of course this time round things are different.  I’m working, pretty hard actually. I don’t get very much time to myself, I’m mostly with the kids or at work and when I’m not I like to run. But like anything else in life you have to make time for things that matter.  It will probably take me another year and a half to complete this version, I may give up all together, who knows. The point is I’ll try. And God loves a trier.

On the subject of books Eliza was sent a wonderful book not long ago called Operation Alphabet (The Ministry of Letters) by Al MacCuish. It really is rather special. Particularly for a very inquisitive four year old. It’s the story of a little boy who’s scared about learning the alphabet and the Ministry of Letters comes to the rescue. It seems to be set in a kind of post-war 1950′s London, with the most beautiful illustrations. I feel like it deserves more than a mention at the bottom of a self indulgent post, but I wanted to mention it and know I wouldn’t get round to it otherwise.

If you have a child who is learning their letters then this book is a great companion to that.

So anyway. That’s all for now. I have my company summer party tomorrow and anyone who’s read this blog for any length of time (good Lord it’s about three and a half years now) will know that I need to be very well behaved or I’ll end up like this again.



  1. Oh brilliant, go you!! It may be coming from a complete stranger, but there are those who know you or are just reading your posts cheering you on to see your book through. There’s always self-publishing….. And I’m sure there’s a market for teenage sex kittens too, but hope you post again about the metamorphosis of your novel. Masses of luck!

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