Tuesday, 6 January 2009

I don't do Anne Enright

Happy New Year. This is January 6th, my first day back at work proper. Anne Enright says that she doesn't do inspiration or blocks she just does work and hopes for the best Which was probably what I needed to hear after the holidays. It still scalds to hear the writing truth though, like when that new author went on Richard and Judy and said her book had only taken her five weeks to write. I wonder how many people were watching Richard and Judy right then instead of writing? There was also a survey saying that housewives spend half their time online, and I wonder how many housewives saw that on the web?

Most of the writers quotes that stay in my head are writers telling me to write harder, Jodi Picoult and her 'can't edit nothing' Stephen King and 'a writer writes' but most of all I remember a day back when I was writing without a deal, six months into How to Be Famous and I called that iconic daytime show This Morning with a question for Jackie Collins. It is really easy to call into a show. I've only done it twice* and got through both times. Anyway, I told Jackie my name was "Melanie" - ashamed enough to need an alibi, the character in H2BF being the name nearest to mind - and that I was halfway through my first novel, finding it hard to stay motivated. How do you do it Jackie? I asked.

And Jackie Collins, bless her, said just sit down and start. She said that in the morning before she has even washed her face she sits at her desk. Just start writing, she said.

Five minutes later I was still watching This Morning until I sternly told myself that asking and getting Jackie's advice on writing and then not following it would be like lighting up as soon as you left a stop-smoking workshop.

Eventually I finished How to be Famous sent it to Judith who said 'like it a lot, not sure about the volcano' and just three short years later it was published. Hmm, February 2010 suddenly seems closer than than I thought.

* Calling I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here Now when bungalowed.

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