31 July 2006

Of drawers and other demons

At last. I have finally joined that group of illustrious, glorious writers who have that bad first novel secreted away in the back of a deep dark drawer. It’s been hard work and a long haul but I got there in the end. I knew I could do it.

When I think back over all the hours spent creating two dimensional characters (so tedious and inert that it was a race between them and the reader to see who would succumb to a coma first), gratuitous grandiose descriptions of the minutiae of life (including skirting boards, tile grout, scabs and nasal hair) and dawdling plot development (not a question of what will happen but will something happen) it is with an enormous sense of pride.

Remember the bloodshot eyes, the aching wrists and the protesting brain; drained of imagination and creativity but persevering because practice makes perfect? And there was all that revising, rewriting, revising, rewriting, revising, rewriting and revising again. The hundreds of printer cartridges, the acres of paper, the notebooks, the research, the tragic loss of the favoured pen, the writers’ groups, the feedback, the tantrums.

Oh, the dizzying highs and the crushing lows.

Oh, the humanity.

Oh, the sheer joy of shutting it away in a drawer.

Damn, it feels good to get that one under my belt. I’d burn it but in this weather the whole of NW2 would probably catch light. I suppose this way I always have something to wedge under the leg of wobbly furniture.

If I ever dare take it out of the drawer.

I think I can hear it whispering in the middle of the night, you know.


Joel said...

As you know, I am a proud burner of two novels and one non-fiction book. Somehow I could tell, looking you in the eye a few months back, that it would all come to bad end.

It is a strange business, this writing lark. Shares can go up or down when making any investment of time. But there is one thing that is a positive that comes out of all this: you're now even better than you were before at spotting crap and will be able to be even more vicious when confronted by the crap of others at writers' groups.

And there's always a chance that there's the odd paragraph or even a whole section that you will carry with you as evidence that you can write like a lucky rabbit's paw through the years until they find their natural place in the inevitiable work of genius just around the corner. I'm laughing, but I'm crying really. No, I am laughing.

Froosh Bamboo said...

And boy did it come to a bad end. Only by alien abduction could things be resovled more worsely. Or something. I'm laughing as well - but I think I'm slightly hysterical.

ems said...

Excellent post!

Ossian said...

I thought this was going to be about drawers. Damn google.