Friday, 22 June 2012

Why does it always rain on me?

A month ago I finally, finally started editing Spring Fling. An edit tailored to specifications from a real live M&B editor.

Only her specifications don't mean a bit of tweaking here and there. They require some major additions, a large rewrite and, crucially, a new end to Chapt one which, I have decided, means a whole new Chapt one altogether.

So four weeks later? I have four pages. Four painstakingly written, edited, re-edited and edited again pages.

They are devoid of life, spark and originality.

I am devoid of life, spark and originality.

I want to get it right, I want to improve it, polish it till it shines. Instead I am rubbing all the gloss off it.
*enough of the terrible metaphor*

Also, I may have finished wallowing but I haven’t got my confidence back yet. ‘If’ my inner goddess whispers (hey, if it works for E.L James maybe I need to find mine, and a talking subconscious too) ‘if you got Minty so, so wrong then how are you ever going to make this one right?’

And then I (and my inner goddess and subconscious and whoever else is in my head; I’ve only read the recaps of Book One) sighs and admits defeat.

Meanwhile my self imposed deadlines tick on. My Significant Birthday is just months away, really almost weeks away *panics*. I wanted to have the glimmerings of a publishing deal by then, a way of proving that I achieved something before middle age took hold. Otherwise I'll need to find a porsche and a toyboy and I don't have the time or money for either.

Some might argue that writing three books whilst holding down a job, raising a child, ranting on Twitter and becoming obsessed with Danish drama was an Achievement in itself. My inner goddess/subconscious/overly controlling billionaire with trousers that hang just so would disagree. I (we?) want the validation a publishing deal would give me (us, blimey it's getting crowded in my head) as well. But, as the amazing Jennifer Cruisie recently blogged, it has to be the right publishers at the right time.

In half term we braved the rain and took the child to Legoland. It was really, really wet but, because this is Britain (home of the shortest drought in history TM) and it was half term the rain made no difference to the numbers. We all pulled on waterproofs and queued as  normal. Some queues weren’t too bad, others (Atlantis and spinning water thing, I am looking at you) involved long, long waits in what was, by then, torrential rain.

Queuing and rain. Those true definitions of what it means to be British.

Only not for everyone, not anymore. Those who can, who are willing to spend an extra £30 per person can jump the queues, take the short cut. They walk smugly (or sheepishly) past the rest of us as we wait, dripping wet and grim faced, to hop straight onto the ride.

‘What are they teaching their children,’ we muttered, half in anger, half in envy. ‘That money can buy anything, that waiting your turn doesn’t mean anything, that you don’t earn your place.’ Well, this is Cameron’s Britain after all. I don’t want to imply that as a young graduate with no work experience at all he wasn’t worth every penny  of the £90,000 salary he was paid for the job his father procured him; draw your own parallels and conclusion.

But actually there is a sense of achievement  as you draw closer to your turn, about knowing you have earned your place at the front; and not just because the front is under cover either. And that sense of achievement  is one that those who push/buy/rush their way to the front will never truly have.

And when I finally get to tell my call story it'll be all the sweeter thanks to the wait, the doubts, the stress and those moments when I think 'sod it, I'll go and have a cup of tea* instead. That's what I tell myself anyway *stares gloomily at four edited pages*.

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