Process Panic

Three years ago I started an art project that lead to the discovery that I must write a book. It was a wonderful discovery. As was learning that I had the patience to see it through. I have tended to play up my geezer-ish commitment-phobic tendencies and rabid fear of boredom. In my more poetic moods I describe it as having magpie tendencies, hopping distractedly along a trail of shiny, new things. When I did art it was always quick, light-touch, temporary. Not even big tent sculptures took more than a few part-time weeks and however much I liked something I was always happy to move on to the next idea.

So imagine my self-congratulatary glow when, with immense struggle but with great joy I wrote, finished and re-drafted three times a book. See? I can do things that take AGES. But I have discovered in the year or so since that demurely delighted self-congratulation that patience is required after finishing the writing in even greater quantities.

I have tried many agents, had wonderful feedback, but constant decline. I have had enough encouragement to keep going but it has been rather dreary. Not dreary enough to cut off the start of a second book, which is a new thrilling and demanding wrestle. Not dreary enough to throw in the dish-cloth. I am still a cleaner by trade so that I can be a writer by choice. But it’s been difficult and dull.

Two days ago I got an email asking if I would like my book to be included on a new digital platform at Unbound. I am so excited. Ready for the hard work of finding funding that their system requires. This blog is going to be in part a way of sharing that process. I am starting it now, right at the beginning, so as to document the whole thing. But in reality, this is a quiet little bit of admin rather than a trumpet blast at the start of a journey, because I haven’t yet signed a contract and there is a smoggy fear in my chest that they might change their minds.

Meanwhile, I’m off to today’s cleaning job.