Friday, 27 August 2010

The Clock is ticking…..

….and a bloody loud alarm is going to go off on October the 28th. Or thereabouts, as that’s when the newest Earle is due to arrive.

It’s fair to say it was a shock. The prospect of going from one to two was scary enough, but three??!?

They say it’s the magic number. But they also say it’s a crowd, especially when all three of the little beauties will be under five years old.

Pray for us….(if that's your bag)

The news threw us a decent sized curveball. It meant the two bed flat had to go, to be replaced with our lovely new three bed abode (WE HAVE STAIRS…IN LONDON!?). And as with any house move, it had its stresses, ones that I dealt with in a supremely ineffective manner. But it was worth it, as the new gaff is brilliant.

The baby also means a new car, one big enough to fit three kid seats in the back, plus the unlimited paraphernalia of buggies, scooters, travel cots ….but to be honest, that’s ok. What’s a bit of debt between friends?

The biggest pressure (because I’m still in denial that the bump is anything but a doughnut overdose on Laura’s part) is getting the second book done before the madness ensues.

Ah yes, the second book. That difficult second book.
I always thought that saying was a load of old arse to be honest.

You read about authors, or musicians who take years to follow up their first offering, and that always seemed a bit self-indulgent to me. I mean, how hard can it be? You’ve done it once already, take your head from up your derriere and get on with it…

So that’s what I’ve done.
Kind of.
In a fashion.

Except it’s been, well, difficult the second time around. Not because of the genius of what I wrote first, as after all, ‘Billy’ isn’t even in the shops yet. It hasn’t sold a copy and wont do until January.

No bugger has even put a proof copy on ebay yet! Booksellers aren’t what they used to be...are they paying you more these days?! (joke! Please hand-sell my book…)

I’ve thought about why I’m finding it more tricky this time, and part of it is due to pregnancies, and house moves, and all that jazz. After all, it’s hard to be creative when you’re absolutely bricking yourself about where the next nights sleep is going to come from.
But part of it is a lovely dilemma, and one I am absolutely not complaining about, as I’m so lucky to have a deal that allows me to write a follow-up.

But the dilemma is this. When I was writing the first book, I was writing it for me.
Alright, I daydreamed about finding an agent and a publisher, but it was just a fantasy at the time. So a result, there was no pressure. I wrote it for me, to occupy myself, and I was the writer as well as the editor, agent and audience.

This time around, there’s already people waiting to read it, willing it, as well as needing it to be different, and better than ‘Being Billy.’
None of these people put pressure on me, none of them have been anything but magnificent and encouraging, even when I asked them to read tiny chunks, just to put my mind at ease.

The mistake I made I think, was paying too much attention to the worry. As instead of chipping away, and doing what I did with book one, an hour a day, at least 5 days a week, I buried the book and ignored it. Wrote nowt. Which just made the paranoia worse.

In the end, the due date of the baby has done me a favour, as it’s forced me to get back to good habits, to get back to the daily routine of me and laptop, and to tapping out at least 750 words, 5 days a week.

And it’s worked. Alright, I’m still paranoid about falling short and letting folk down. But seeing the pages fill up quicker than they have in months, has given me the buzz again, and helped me to create the book I wanted to write in the first place.

I think Daisy’s story is going to be harder to write, after all, I’m not a fifteen year old girl (no comments at the end of this blog please!), but I’m absolutely determined to enjoy the process as much as the first time around.

And if I enjoy it, hopefully it’ll rub off on whoever reads it afterwards……good theory, eh?


  1. Looking forward to the Billy book. And I'm sure the second will be equally good, if not better. There's nothing like 'the fear' to get you writing. (Or imminent sleepless nights, the thought of those will have you typing so fast there will be steam from the keyboard). Good luck with the second one. And if it's any consolation I also have 'the fear'.

  2. Looking forward to reading Being Billy! I'm finding writing my second book such a different process to the first, nice to read that someone else had a similar experience!

  3. Hello Laura and Lara, thanks for your messages. It's certainly easier blogging than actually writing....reckon I should keep that quiet....cheers!

  4. I can really relate to this!