I talk quite a bit about ‘not writing.’ I don’t mean writers block – I’m either writing or I’m not – there is no blockage. I mean the times when for one reason or another, the head is distracted and there is little or nothing to be done about it. In recent weeks, with my focus almost entirely on promotion for Ghostbird, I find my writing time severely curtailed and my poor Sisters (working title – book two) languishing in a kind of creative limbo.
It goes, I am learning, with the territory. Published author friends warned me that once the book deal was signed my word count would suffer. They explained how necessary it was to enjoy myself because this ‘first time’ moment would never come again. What they didn’t fully explain was how much more than mere ‘happy dancing’ would be involved. How I would have so little time to work on my next book.
I am fortunate in that I’m being guided through the promotional minefield by an experienced and astute woman – my publisher’s marketing maven. Were it not for her, I would be floundering. Instead, I’m making progress and learning a lot along the way. In addition to the minutiae and nitty-gritty (and the excitement!) of the whole pitch to publication thing, there are guest posts to write for the blog tour and Q&As to answer. Although I love the creative challenge of this kind of writing, it’s not the same as getting on with my next story.
While I muddle through during the day and attend to business, I’m even more thankful for my crack of dawn mornings. By nature (and in spite of writing a book featuring an owl) I’m a lark. Early mornings suit me; I like the way they have no expectations, only the ones I impose. And I impose nothing. I feed the cat, make a pot of tea and return to my bed and my notebook.
These then are the spaces in between, when my mind is seduced by the sweet word birds singing snippets into the tangles of my bed hair. Pencil sharpened, I cover page after page, comforted by the knowledge that my scribbled words are there, waiting for me.