Audit of an Author -1

Every morning since June I’ve woken up delighted to remember that my job for the year is to be a writer. Thanks to funding from Creative Scotland’s Create: Inclusion fund, I can spend the majority of my working life pondering, plotting, writing and editing my first foray into the realm of psychological suspense.

I’d like to think this is my break-through novel. I’d like to think it’s the start of making a more reliable living from my own writing. I’d like to think I’ll get a two-three-four book deal from the Big Five and the coveted six-figure advance. And according to Dream Author, the brilliant coaching programme devised by crime writer, Sophie Hannah, I should definitely expect these things!

However, I’m very well aware that my successes might be more moderate – and actually that’s fine too. In fact, if this this the only year ever that I get to be a (more or less) full-time author, then aren’t I very lucky? Not everyone, not many writers, get to say that. So, I’m determined to appreciate every single day.

I am writing. I’m currently at 20,000++ words of The Baby in the Box, with another 12000 words of a very detailed outline and chapter breakdown. (What can I say? I like planning. I like scribbling notes in a diary and playing with words and ideas. It does change as I write but I like the map; I’m one of the weird readers that like to know the end of the book first so they can settle down and enjoy the journey…) I know exactly what this story is about and now I’m evolving the finer points. Is it good enough? Who knows. I’m practising what I preach to my students though – enjoying the writing process is a successful outcome in itself.

I am reading. This feels very decadent, both work and pleasure, and I’ve been able to devour books in a way that I haven’t for years. I still feel the need to justify it to myself…which I do by insisting it’s a study of the psychological thriller genre, and there’s a great thrill in being hit by something different, something unexpected, something with depth (that’s the best word I can think of) of plot and character that makes a novel so much more than a vehicle for ‘the twist you won’t see coming’.

I am learning. After the heady mix of all those online festivals of books and writing, I’ve developed a taste for podcasts and webinars and Zoom link-ups. Not only are they fun and informative, they are my connection to the outside world when all my face-to-face teaching has been cancelled for the foreseeable. I’ve even wriggled onto a 6 week course on writing the psychological thriller, with Erin Kelly, part of the Curtis Brown Creative programme.

So what’s the point of this self-indulgent round-up? It’s not (at all, promise) to brag about the funding or practise saying ‘I’m an author, you know’, rather it’s an evaluation, a method of accountability: if I put it out there that I’m doing this, then I will do it. For someone used to deadlines and watching the clock, the risk is that I while away the time and meander too far from the remit – and if you’re reading this, Create:Inclusion, I am definitely on track!

Anne x

 

Writing the New Normal

Comments

 
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Sunday, 29 November 2020

Blog Archive

Popular Blog Posts

30 April 2019
29 August 2019
30 November 2016

Tag Cloud

No tags has been created yet.