I am awfully excited.
It’s getting to that time again.
It’s getting to that time when I won’t be able to help myself; I will have to begin a new book.
There isn’t really any rhyme or reason to the start of a new novel. I don’t decide that I’ll begin on a particular day, or that I’ll begin when my desk is clear of the last job. There are no practical considerations for me. In this particular instance, I have yet to finish my current writing project, and at least another two are in the editing stages. Basically, I start a new book when I cannot stand it any longer and I must begin to get my ideas down on paper.
There are, I think, huge advantages to this method of writing.
Writing is difficult, so being hugely excited about it is a massive advantage. Brimming with enthusiasm for an idea, and wanting to know what it will feel like to write it and how it will begin to grow is amazing. Sometimes, I rein myself in for some time, getting all hot and bothered about the whole thing, just to ramp up the excitement to get me through those first ten or fifteen thousand words. There is nothing more reassuring than the feeling that I have begun a project in earnest, and, more importantly, that I stand a chance of finishing it.
It is like taking a lover, in the old-fashioned way. It is like all those delicious dates when the clothes stay on and it’s all about eye-contact and talking, and anticipation and connections. Embarking on a new book is breathless and tingling; it’s all frilly knickers and lip gloss, and taxi shoes and sweet sighs.
Editing a book is like having a long conversation with an old boyfriend you know you’ll never sleep with again, whom you’ll never forget you loved, and with whom you have loose ends of unfinished business. It’s about long distance phone calls late at night in your pyjamas with unbrushed teeth and plates of toast and mugs of cooling tea.
Both are wonderful in their way, and the one need not interfere with the other, but, right here, right now, I’m off to buy a new lipstick... a red one.