Last Tuesday I signed my contract with the publishing house and I am now officially a signed up author.
I have a divine publisher, she is young, clever, fun, modern, edgy and wonderful to work with. And I am not only saying that because she reads my blog. Although she does. Read my blog, that is. Which is a little weird for her and for me. But not too weird.
After meeting with her last Tuesday I was so fired up. My book felt real for the first time. For the first time I realized that I might actually see my book in bookstores. I am so excited about it. I am going to camp out in the bookstores and point at the book and tell everyone who passes that I wrote that book. And they MUST buy it.
The writing is going really well. The beginning bit was hard, finding my ‘voice’, my rhythm, but the more I wrote, the more into I got. I am going to go back and redo the beginning.
I wrote A LOT while I was on leave in December. I wrote through the hardest part of the book, the part around when Ben was born. That was very hard to write. I opened his memory box to get my old diaries from that time. I hadn’t written a lot in the diaries but there was some stuff there. I took out all the memory items in the box and held them for a little while. His ashes. The lock of his hair. His hand and footprints. Phew. It was hard. V hard. I had one particularly bad day, when I wrote about his last few days. I called my mom and cried on the phone. She was at my house within five minutes. We had tea and spoke, I felt better afterwards.
But it got easier. The more I wrote, the more into I got. And I wrote and wrote and wrote. Every spare moment. The minute the kids went down for their nap, as soon as I put them down at night.
Last Sunday night, I finished the first very rough draft of the story, from beginning to end. As I wrote the last chapter I got such a sense of pride. In myself. Not only for the writing the story, but staring in the story. It has been such a ride, my god it has been such a hectic ride. I can’t believe I came out the other side (semi) sane.
I’ve submitted the first, very rough draft to my publisher because I want her input. Which was v v scary to do because it feels so personal. And because it is a very rough draft. I still have to go back and flesh the story out, add detail, explain things. But I wanted her input at this stage, before I do down a route that might or might not work.
While I waited for my publisher’s feedback on the first draft I decided to give myself a three night break from writing, hence the abundance of blog posts and the ‘B’ week. It has been so damn difficult to find time to work, mother, write, drink wine AND blog. The blogging part is the one thing I haven’t managed to keep up with. Oh and my emails, I owe so many of you return emails. I just haven’t had the time, sorry darlings. I’d give up the wine, but you know….
I am very excited about the book, I am very chuffed with myself for having stuck with it, for putting in the long hours. Between working full time, the babies, you lot and drinking wine, I’ve really had to put in lots of time, and there is still lots more to come, but I think I have done really well. I don’t want to write when the babies are awake, that is their time, so I steal every single free moment I have, when they are asleep, at night etc. I don’t have much time for myself left over. I have no time to read, or relax or nap. And I will admit to feeling the pressure of deadlines. This three night break is the first break I’ve had in ages. It felt like a holiday. But doesn’t matter, writing this book has been wonderful, a fantastic experience, and I am very proud of myself for doing it.
Writing takes ages. I can spend hours writing just a few pages. It takes a while to get into the writing rhythm, so grabbing an hour or two is not really ideal. But I really am enjoying it; I just wish I had more time.
So, bottom line, the book is going really well, the first draft is in. I am really excited about it. Can’t wait to see it in print. SO excited.
PS I have another article published in this month’s Shape magazine, the South African version. An infertility article. I’ll link to it when it becomes available online. Busy busy busy. Am fabulous, widely published author. Is there no end my to talents??
Thank you Michelle, for giving me this opportunity, I am eternally grateful. xxx