Paperback Writer

So, I’m writing a novel. God, I know, how tedious of me. Everyone is writing a novel these days. Even Terry has tried it, and, to be perfectly honest, I’d be surprised if Rubin doesn’t have one in the pipelines too – "My Life With Wolves" or something. The thing that’s different about my novel, though, is that, unlike all of these other novels I’m always hearing about, it’s highly unlikely that mine will ever be finished. I’m the mistress of procrastination, remember, and if there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s how to do a job badly.

I am writing my novel very badly. I’m stopping and starting with depressing regularity (Well, the stopping is regular, anyway. The starting, not so much.) Every so often I’ll have a rush of enthusiasm, and I’ll spend two or three weeks hammering away at the keyboard, frantically cranking out word after word, absolutely convinced that this is totally going to be the BEST NOVEL EVER and that when I’m finished, why, an agent will probably snap me right up and I’ll be rich and famous like JK Rowling, and will spend my days lying on a chaise in a silk nightgown, sipping martinis and typing a few exquisitely crafted chapters every now and then, The End. (Agents who are reading this and who are desperate to make this dream a reality: call me!)

Anyway, this latest break has been the longest one so far. I had a rush of enthusiasm back in 2004, and another one in 2005. Both of these happened when Terry was ill and I was all “adversity maketh the man!” and all that, but then the business got busy and I started spending all my time looking at shoes on the internet, and gah, no novel. Last night was the first time in about six months that I’ve so much as opened the folder in which the novel lives, though: I had been drinking wine and I thought that would cushion the blow, but nope, not a chance. The Novel was horrifically bad: so much so that I decided to start again from scratch. So I opened a new file, changed the font a few times, and then… nothing.

Well, actually, not quite nothing. I have about 2,000 words, but most of them don’t count because I just copied and pasted them from the last, doomed draft of the novel. Tonight I will copy and paste some more, and maybe even add some shiny new fresh ones, and, in this way, we will proceed for the next week or so, until I eventually throw my hands up in horror and announce, that GOD, I am so never going to be a novelist! Why do I ever tell myself I could be a novelist?

I do it, I suppose, because it’s still my most deeply cherished dream. One day I will do it, and I’m mentioning it here because, hey! If I give up this time, you all can shout at me, ‘kay?