It’s confession time here at Mummy Misfit corner this morning. Remember that promise I made to myself about not writing until Easter? Well I broke it …
I’ve kept the part where I said I’d be doing lots of promoting - I’ve done guest blog spots and author interviews, sent my sequel out to be reviewed and sales have been encouraging. So that makes me a good girl.
But promoting is BORING! I know I have to do it to get the books out there and talked about, but it’s just such a constant slog - often with little reward.
So, when a tiny little seed of a book grew into something with roots, I found I couldn’t ignore it any more. I told myself I’d just write Chapter One and see if I liked it. The trouble was, 4,000 words in, I liked it quite a bit and the characters were determined to keep me going.
I made it to the end of January without writing but now I think I’m on a path where there’s no going back. This has got me thinking about what I’ve learned about myself as a writer in the past few years:
THE MISFIT WRITER
- I’m fickle. I make promises to myself I can’t keep. I am never to be trusted again!
2. When I need to write, I need to write. No point trying to stop me.
3. When I don’t want to write, I can sometimes push myself - not always, sometimes.
4. I’m amazed by how a germ of an idea can turn into a fully rounded story if you have the right characters. Three plot-lines have literally popped into my head from nowhere for this new book, just because they were the right things for the characters as they developed.
5. I don’t argue with my editor (husband) anymore. I’ve told him nothing about the plot of this book so he’s discovering it as a reader would. If something isn’t clear or doesn’t ring true, I need to listen to my ‘reader’ and address it.
6. I know (I hope) when a book is ready to be written. I’ve cast aside a 35,000 word work in progress to write this new novel because it just wasn’t the right book for me at the time.
7. I now know, for sure, that I can’t over-plan. If I already know the whole story I get bored and I don’t want to write it. I like to be surprised as a writer as well as a reader. I listen to my characters really carefully now and see what it is that they’re trying to tell me.
8. I’ve stopped looking at writing a book as a mammoth task. It’s a journey from A to B which involves getting a certain amount of words down on paper every day. Simples!
9. Teenage sons are incredibly useful when you need to know slang words used by their generation. There are 19-year-old twin boys in this new book and my son’s input has been invaluable.
10. I’m terrified of breaking out of the Mummy Misfit mould. I know that my readers have enjoyed Libby and her adventures. What if they don’t want me to leave the diaries and write a novel with new characters and plot? Also I’d got the seal of approval from an agent and major publishing houses with Mummy Misfit - I knew I was on to something that could possibly pass muster. This ‘Book Three’, as it’s called, won’t be afforded that luxury. It will go out into the big, wide world, virgin-like and exposed.
So there you go. Heart on sleeve time. Watch this space and I’ll keep you posted on the exciting and terrifying birth of a new book.
My first two novels, Diary of a Mummy Misfit and The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit, are NOT my mad musings - they are novels with characters and plots! Give them a whirl! On Kindle at Amazon and in paperback at Lulu.