Friday, 28 December 2007

Post Christmas Limboland

Well, it's the day after the day after Boxing Day, and I'm in a sort of post Christmas limboland. Part of me wants to try and get back into some kind of routine, while the rest of me is clinging to the 'what film is on next, shall I have another mince pie, work, wot that?' mentality of the seasonal festivities. This, coupled with the sheer mountain of 'stuff' that Christmas generates eg. wrapping paper, ludicrous amounts of extra 'strange' food, gift items to be assimilated into the household, is making it very hard for me to get into any kind of productive state of mind.

I haven't been entirely idle over the last few days. I have been doing a bit of editing on In Too Deep since Boxing Day, but it's very slow progress and my motivation level isn't high. Am very easily distracted by something on the telly or the desire for more unsuitable Xmas food. On Boxing Day itself, the book seemed like horse pooh, but yesterday, I seemed to get a sort of handle on it. But really, some of the stuff I've written is truly, truly dire. Boring, clunky, uninspired, story-less, strange characters with stupid motivations that people just won't like. This book will need many more rounds of revision after this one if it's to come anywhere near the standard of my beloved Suite Seventeen, which seems to have turned out to be one of my best works, given it's prizewinning status!

What does cheer me up though is that Suite Seventeen seemed like a pile of festering crud for much of the time while I was working on it. It too had to go through a lot of changes and enhancements. It too seemed flat and stupid and pointless. So, if I can get from that, to being judged a year's best novel, with one book, I can do it with another... And I went through the same journey with Gothic Heat too. I don't yet have much in the way of feedback other than the approval of my critique partner and my agent, but I like GH myself now, and it was really one of the hardest, hardest books I've ever had to write!!!

So there's hope for In Too Deep... I think I will probably have to go through this process with every book from now on, as part of the constant raising of the bar. Both in terms of my own writing, and because of fabulous books I read by other writers. I've got to keep pushing, working, improving, not accepting anything less than my best. It's tough out in romance writing world and you can't let yourself slide, even in the tiniest way... You can't sit back and think, 'oh, I'm the dog's wotsits, everybody loves me, I don't have to try now...' because there are hundreds of writers out there, with great ideas, who readers are going to discover and abandon you for if you don't produce the goods to the best of your ability!

Telly: not yet
Choc/Yummy: mince pie in a minute
Mood: uneasy
Writing: not yet
Reading: not yet
RSI/FMS: very, very sore and achy, mainly due to waking up with small but heavy cat sitting on my rib cage!

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