Multi-Writing

At the moment I barely have time to write this blog post. And yet here I am. So, shut up, Louise. Understand, I’m not complaining about my lack of time. God, no. I’m doing the thing I love, the thing I’ve waited my whole life to be able to solely do. I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be. But I am tired. Many writers will understand this. You can love what you do and still be exhausted by it. Because I give every bit of myself to my writing – my own experiences, my heart, my soul – and because I like to research in detail to make sure things are right, and because I’m a super self-critical editor, I end up, at times, deflated like a balloon afterwards. Like if I write a single word more, there will be nothing left. But there is. Every time. Thank God.

One of my many career highlights – reading at a Hull City of Culture event in 2017.

It isn’t so much multi-tasking as multi-writing. Again, I’m sure many writers will identify with this. We’re very rarely ever working on one thing. At any given moment, we are thinking of the next book (I just wrote the first line to what might be book twelve) and editing one that is due out in a few months and writing one that is due out in two years and proofreading one that is due out in a year. Complicated? I know. We live a million lives in one day. Who wouldn’t be tired? But, still, I’m grateful every single day that I’m here. I look back – when I get a breath – at all the amazing things that my writing has meant I’ve done; the events, the launches, the people I’ve met, the friends I’ve made. And I feel absolutely blessed.

Today, for example, in my multi-writing, I finished the first draft of what is the second in a two-book deal, that is technically book eleven. I swore when I gave up my job in the theatre five months ago (I have no idea how I managed to do that alongside the writing for so many years) that I would give myself weekends off, but it turns out I’m a whip-bearing Britney-esque boss, and when I gotta work, I gotta work, bitch. I wanted to finish this first draft because tomorrow I start complex structural edits for what will be book eight, out in June, and I need to concentrate on that. Especially when the proofread of what will be book ten (I think?) next year could arrive at any moment, and never mind my memoir audiobook looming. Again, not grumbling, not for a moment. Just sharing. Because I know so many other writers work like this. Readers often ask, is it a life of luxury, of writing for an hour or two, and then lunching and doing literary events? Erm….

Doing Aye Write in Glasgow in 2017, one of my first Book Festivals.

No matter what my workload is, I get up in a morning excited to get to it. No matter how many projects I have on the go, I’m passionate about each and every one. I can’t write something I don’t believe in. Because I only have to remember the ten years of rejections. I only have to think of how long I worked for this, how much it hurt when no one wanted to publish my books. But, sometimes, when you do give so much of yourself to every page and every word, you have to remember to give a tiny bit to yourself too, and I’m not always so good at that. So I’m typing this last sentence, and I’m off to have a cup of tea and a Jaffa Cake, until I start all over again at nine tomorrow. See you there?

Winning the Best magazine Book of the Year in 2019

3 comments

  1. An honest encouragement to this unpublished writer … Reality and passion. You clearly love what you do even when it’s demanding. Keep going!

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