Saturday, 26 January 2013

Crisis - will I ever get this book into shape?

Having shamefully neglected this blog for months and months, I am driven to it by a crisis of confidence in my own abilities. I've blogged before about the Hemingway built-in shit detector. Well, mine is up and running and driving me demented.

Blog is not the only thing neglected. My third historical crime has been pushed into the background for ages due to losing any hope of a deadline when Penguin dropped the series. Other writing came up instead, and despite doing quite a lot of work on the thing, I've not managed to get back in and finish it.

Finally, when I have in the last couple of weeks started working on it again, I now find I simply cannot seem to get it into shape. I had started editing the unfinished book before I stopped work, because I had realised it wouldn't do. Coming back to it, I'm having real trouble with the revisions and begin to believe I'm going to have to rewrite from the point where it goes off the rails.

This is both anathema and panic. If you've ever experienced this, you are not alone. How many novels have I written, whether published or not? How many novels have I successfully written to publication standard and managed to get into print? Answer: loads.

Yet here I am absolutely convinced today that everything I've done in the last couple of days is not working and won't work. At the back of my mind, there is a little voice going: yes, but when you read it over it won't look so bad, and if you leave it for a couple of days, you'll see how to fix it. Hopefully that will prove to be the case.

So what's the message here? Simply this. Doesn't matter how experienced you are, there are always going to be times when you stop believing in yourself as a writer. What to do in this situation?

Well, as for me, I'm going to raid the chocolate and go watch something fun on telly. Tomorrow, as Scarlett always said, is another day...

Oh - and there is one consolation already. I do like the new title I thought up a little while ago - The Opium Purge. Ha! Where did that come from? Gosh, there must be a writer lurking in there somewhere after all.

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