Saturday 13 February 2016

Novel idea

'You like writing,' people say to me. 'Why don’t you write a book?' Oh, go away. And boil your head while you’re about it. I started writing my first (for first, read only. And unfinished) novel when Methuselah was still at school. Since then it’s had more false starts than a false starty thing and now languishes barely a third complete in a Word document buried deep in my computer’s digital basement.

The first chapter alone has been rewritten probably as many times as Happy Birthday has been sung around the world. But, like a surgeon frantically trying to save their patient on the operating table when they flat-line,  I will never give up on 'the book'.

I just need to set aside the time each day to get the thoughts decanted from my head onto the page. How hard can it be? Mmm. The fact is that since I started writing this blog in 2010 I’ve written approximately 600 posts and, at an average of 300 words - that’s the thick end of 180,000 words. Yep, I could've written a novel. And the sequel.

So maybe the answer is staring me in the face. Ditch the novel idea and try and turn the blog into a book. I’ve thought about it before: can I see my collected thoughts sitting on a shelf next to the greats? Probably not. More likely next to the air freshener in the downstairs carsey.

Anyway. I've got to go. This book (for book, read bestseller) won't write itself.


  1. I agree, the blog as book idea is lovely and would be great but I do hope you'll still persevere with the novel. That first chapter you shared was superb. Maybe you're too hard on yourself, and just need to curb that urge to keep re-writing it. Just keep writing instead, keep going until the end and then go back over it for any re-working knowing that you've at least got a complete first draft? Yep, so easy to say, I know....!

    Good luck, whatever you choose to do. I hope we'll see Chapter 2 on here some day though.

  2. There's a thing called " write a novel in November " which addresses this issue ( basically you are meant to write 50k words or 1,500 a day during the month. They may be gobbledygook but at least you have got them down instead of endlessly tinkering with the first chapter. Elizabeth did it three times when she was at school but only completed it once,(too much shouting by me about revision)it did show her though that it's not impossible. Anyway, good luck.