Phil: Following on the from the last post, Candice exiting stage left from the quango gave me a problem. So far the writing dynamic had been pretty simple. When your co-author is on the other side of a desk partition and you have nothing better to do all day (no really, we didn’t !) than chat about your book ideas, then making progress is pretty easy. Without the other to provide that little bit of pressure, the temptation to spend the day surfing the web for amusing pictures of cats or just reading every word on the BBC news website might have been too much.
Many people think they can write a book. Indeed, it is an oft-repeated “fact” that everyone has a book inside them. That may be true but then everyone has an appendix in them too and getting either out into the fresh air is a challenge that takes commitment and not a little pain. A few months ago there was an interesting article on a succesful businesswoman in a free paper that I read because she seemed to have a lot in common with Kate, our main character. At the bottom, in a break-out box, was a section asking what she would do if she wasn’t a hyper succesful seller of stuff. “I’d like to be an author” was the reply, followed by the admission that she’d never written anything. A pretty typical situation.
Now I am a bit of an author, I write nerdy magazine stuff and even a blog or two. Despite this, I wasn’t a novelist and nor was Candice. We had been presented with the idea breeding ground for a book – time, opportunity and an absence of anything else useful to do – but that had now changed. One of us was looking for jobs and the other knew he would be soon. What we had was 40,000 words and a feeling that this was A Good Thing. Strangely, we both felt a real desire to finish the project. At the time I wondered if this was really possible or just a daft idea that we’d come up with to stave off boredom. Could we maintain the momentum that had carried us this far ?
No, this was the point where we had to get serious. Simply completing a manuscript was going to be hard. So hard that I think anyone who does it should be given a medal, or at least a big slice of chocolate cake. And a cup of tea.