The Doldrums

Give us a leg-up anyone?

Give us a leg-up anyone?

In case you were wondering (how very kind of you…), yes I’m still here!

Hello again. *waves*

I haven’t blogged for almost a month – exactly the same length of time for which I have written not one word of the new novel. And I’ve been wondering why.

Somehow, I simply haven’t had the words. I ran out of things to say. The whole process of attempting to get the first novel published – either by a proper commercial publisher or self-published – seems so daunting once you have a manuscript and a huge mountain in front of you that it kind of knocked the wind from my sails. Added to which, now the book’s written, I’ve managed to convince myself it’s not very good. Self-doubt and self-ambush rolled into one. There’s too much ‘self’ with us lot isn’t there?

OK, so people keep telling me it IS good, but I’ve stalled and prevaricated over writing a query letter and trying to make the synopsis sound any better. There’s a whole post over there in the archive about the trauma of writing a synopsis, if you’re interested. I found it a hideous task and one which was instrumental in making me think: “Is the book really about that?? Oh God. How mundane.”


I’ve just been tagged in The Next Big Thing blog-hop by the fabulous Kristina (thank you!). Reading her post about her novel helped me understand that we all feel this way about our writing sometimes.

I think, for me, it was an almost post-ecstatic lull; finally achieving something you’ve wanted to do all your life is a pretty major event really, isn’t it? Oh yes it is (gearing up for panto season there…)

After that, it’s only natural to feel a sense of loss and disappointment, even with a new project to move onto. And there’s the added bitter twinge of “So what’s it all for anyway?” Why start a second novel if I don’t know what to do with the first? There are only so many drawers in my house and I need some of them for things other than unpublished manuscripts. Like forks. And string. And the little plastic hooks they use to fix telephone wires to the skirting board.

It’s time for a kick up the bum I think. A very good friend and extraordinarily talented writer is reviewing the MS for me. I know he’ll rip whole chapters to shreds in order to improve it, but I’m determined to take that in the constructive sense in which it’s meant. I’m also going to revisit the synopsis and make it sound as mysterious, enticing and thought-provoking as the novel itself genuinely is.

That’s the first couple of foothills conquered right there. The push to the summit is on.

As my SatNav declares – in the voice of the indomitable Brian Blessed – every time I reach my destination: “Onward and upward! To Everest next and then the North Pole!!”

I think I’m back.