To all you sensible people out there: I’m sorry.
A few weeks ago I mused on whether I should go back to rewrite old material or if I should crack on with something new. The overwhelming (single) response was that I should move on.
Well I’m sorry. I’ve let you down, I’ve let myself down, I’ve let the school down.
I’ve started to take Australis to pieces. I’ve given it a new name, even a new folder in my master ‘Writing’ file. I come armed with a spreadsheet and a new approach. The intention is to use pretty much all of the old writing, pretty much, but with new motives, mischiefs and mishaps superimposed.
Simple. Should take me a few hours and then it’s to the pub.
This is a stupid idea, I know that. It’ll take months and I’m not exactly short of other things to work on. Thing is, I need this to work. It’s more than just a novel, it’s the middle book of a trilogy; it’s the book that I need to sell to my publisher so I can build a career and not just be a one-off.
That’s not true either. I know I could self-pub the second- and third parts (and I might still do that) but I can’t bring myself to release something that I don’t think is good enough.
And that’s the real reason I need to do this. I need this thorn to be gone from my foot. It bugs me, it bugs me, it bugs me. It is unfinished business.
Stubbornness is an underrated quality in a writer. Sometimes you have nothing but grim bloody determination to get going; writing can be a slog and discouragement lies round every corner.
Sometimes all you can do is flick the vicars* to the world and carry on regardless.
*A quick internet search suggests that I am the only person in the world who uses this phrase. I mean, of course, raising two fingers in a manner generally considered impolite.