The Promise of an Empty Page

blank page

Not much news to report at present on the book front.  The newly-rewritten manuscript has been re-submitted to a couple of houses who expressed an interest last time around, and if that doesn’t work then we shall go out more widely.  Watch, as they say, this space.

More excitingly, I am becoming increasingly consumed by my next effort.  The original kernel of the idea has been knocking around in my head for some years, but I was unsure what to do with it.  From that idea, via the usual (if improbable) thought-association process, has sprung a whole other set of thoughts which I am eager to include.  Unusually for me, the clearest element of the story right now is the time and the setting – usually the characters come first.  Some of the story is very clear in my mind, other bits are hopelessly out of focus.  And so I am planning my reading and research, in the hope that this will clarify my thinking and (more crucially) flesh out my vague concepts with more specific ideas.  My amazon cart is chock-full of books.  I can’t wait to get started.

But here’s the thing.  The most delicious part of this stage of the process, before I have set a single word down on paper, is the glittering promise of what might be to come.  I know Hemingway was allegedly terrified of the proverbial blank page, but this is the best bit for me.  Right now, anything could happen.  I haven’t written myself into any holes.  My characters are yet to jump on to my back and weigh me down.  This, I think as I scribble down ideas in my new notebook, could be it.

Writers are burdened by the same impossible hopes and expectations as everyone else.  Perhaps we are even more afflicted than others, since when it’s just you and the words in your head, there’s nobody else to blame.  Every time I begin a new book, I have to hope that it will be the best thing I’ve ever written.  Otherwise, why would I bother?  Writing, like life, should be an on-going education.  I’m looking forward to learning some more.

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