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Especially one about writing.
Welcome, nonetheless, to my occasional blog, which I’m hoping doesn’t become a millstone around my neck.
Writers writing about writing could almost become as annoying as actors twittering on about acting. The rest of the world seems to manage to get by without declaring how difficult their work is, so what’s special about us? We’re attention-seeking children, clamouring, ‘watch me’ or ‘read me’.
Only a generation or so ago, many of our forebears were scrabbling for coal or sitting in rat-infested trenches. We’ve got it so tough.
Anyhow, here is my brand new website, put together by Elliott Barratt, who’s done a great job. It’s a vast improvement on the old one. It should also get better as I start filling it with stuff. So, keep on coming back for more. This website could change every day.
It was young Elliott who persuaded me that I should have a blog section. Let that be a lesson for you — always politely pretend to listen to people who are younger than you, but never under any circumstances do what they suggest, especially if you’ve passed the age where your body’s flexible enough to have sex standing up in doorways.
So, this first blog is a kind of personal stock-take of what’s happening in the life of a jobbing writer. Normally, people do this the moment they get on the weighing scales post-Christmas. But here I am in April already and I’m only just now doing the stock-taking.
It’s more like a spring-clean really.
I think it’s because I’ve just finished writing one book, which I’m busy trying to tidy up and shape better, and am now getting to grips with my next. Book 2 will be about 55,000 words long and I’m somewhere in the mid-teens. That makes it sound as if the work is one third done, but those 17,000 words are rough and ready. At least they exist, though.
A book, even a short non-fiction affair like the one I’m writing now, is a long haul. You age during the process. I mean, genuinely age. With a short story or an article, you can get a draft pretty quickly, but a book is several marathons, one after the other. You are measurably older at the end of a book than you are at the start.
It can also be strangely draining, although obviously not as hard work as being a trawlerman, a miner, a nurse, or a traffic warden, or, quite frankly, any job that can’t be done in just your dressing-gown and slippers.