Five Things I’ve Learnt About Writing A Novel Before I’ve Even Finished My First

I’ve been working on (and off) my novel ‘Recital‘ for a fair while now, and I’ve come to some less than earth shattering realisations that, even though they may not help you finish your own incredible novel may at least help you sleep at night, safe in the knowledge that you’re not as hopeless as me or, at the very least, that we’re both as hopeless as each other and you’re not alone in your hopelessness.

So here, in no particular order, are my five startling realisations:

1. Life gets in the way

Even if you block out an entire three months to sit on your backside and ‘just write’ it’s amazing what can happen. Burglars. The flu. Washing up. Accidental visits from relatives. Sudden lapses in reality. Trees falling down. Lightning. Power cuts. Weeks of accidental drinking. Weeks of recovery featuring self-loathing. Scurvy. Lice. Mumps.

‘Hitting ones stride’ appears to be almost entirely unobtainable, whereas ‘can write at a moments notice’ seems to be a real thing and is the only tactic that has propelled my writing forward in any way whatsoever. Life will never bugger off, and I think I’ve realised that people who finish novels are able to commit pen to paper the moment that there appears to be, at least for a fraction of a second, a lapse in the humdrum distractions of everyday living.

Someone once said ‘Life gets in the way when you’re making plans’ and if your plan is to write a novel then apparently it doesn’t just get in the way; it gets to know you, moves in and has your children, and no amount of pretending you’re not married to it makes it stop.

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