Finding ‘the one’

When I started writing my first novel Star in the Shadows, it was like a love affair – I just couldn’t get enough of it. The urge to delve back into the world of my characters was so strong that it impelled me to get up early, write on the train, write at lunch, write in the evenings, write at weekends. I could write for hours without seeing the minutes fly by. If there was anything like “being in the zone”, I was there with that book.

I churned the first draft out really fast because the ideas came to me quicker than I could type them. The process of editing down to the second and third drafts was slower, but no less enthralling.

While my book was still being edited and proof-read by the publishers, I wanted to chase that feeling again – the heady obsession of all-consuming writing. But I feared I was a one-book wonder. How could I possibly move on from such an intense relationship?

I took a stab at starting a second book in November 2018. I decided that I wanted to write about something closer to home, about a couple struggling with infertility. I thought that it would be both cathartic and emotionally engaging to write. I was so wrong. I couldn’t do it. Perhaps the emotions were too raw, or perhaps I just wanted to write beautiful escapes and I couldn’t do that if it was too close to home.

I tried again, this time working on a legal crime thriller. This started better but I didn’t feel that same urge to write the way I had with Star in the Shadows. Writing felt like a chore.

Finally, I decided to try one last time. in January 2019, I started my third novel draft. Third time lucky! This was the one. The same feeling of being completely and utterly absorbed in writing, the same unquenchable desire to write at any time of day, returned in full force. In two weeks I had bashed out (literally, I type aggressively), 30k words, while I was working full-time.

I’m currently approaching 40k words and whilst my first draft isn’t pretty – full of errors and placeholders and plot holes – I know it’s going somewhere. I’ll fill in the gaps and add the details in the second draft, but for now, I’m happy getting all those ideas and structures down on paper as quick as I can.

Watch this space for my second novel – as yet unnamed – but already very much loved!

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