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Island Life, Word Birds & Process

There is an ‘in between place’ writers’ inhabit. It takes various forms: the one separating the initial idea & the execution of a first draft. The one between drafts, the forays into research that tip over into sneaky trips round social media. And those we give names to: writer’s block, procrastination, ‘real life’ (as if writing wasn’t.) We hover in the spaces between chapters, between words. We dither in edit mode, take half a day to decide if a paragraph stays or gets consigned to the Dead Darlings file.

Eclipsing each of these is a place we find ourselves once the story is done. Our best endeavour – edited to a fault & printed out on top quality Bright White – is submitted, offered up, let go, relinquished.

It can be an oddly dark space this one – furnished with anguish & the shreds of our nails, the walls lined with helpless hope. It’s the waiting room of doom where we wait while someone we almost certainly don’t know makes the crucial decision about our story & our potential future as a writer. They have temporary custody of our baby: the pristine version of our tear-stained (yes I know, pushing it now – my blog, my drama) months & more often, years of work.

In spite of it being second time round for me, the waiting remains a factor. Contract notwithstanding, there is still work to do; decisions have to be made that don’t necessarily involve me: administrative, creative, production etc. In the traditional publishing world – not least with a small press – however supportive your team, patience is the order of the day.

(Please, dear reader – with huge respect, if you are self-published don’t be tempted to insist how much easier ‘having total control’ makes the process. Consider your choice honoured!)

I love being traditionally published, I’m proud & honoured to be with a prestigious press, however small. I wouldn’t change a thing. It takes as long as it takes & while I wait for what comes next in the process, I sit in the space in between, read delicious books; scribble at book three & make notes for book four.

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It’s the writing life that matters, every aspect of it, even the waiting…

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