At the beginning of December I finally finished the writing of my latest book, working title – KEEPING SECRETS. I was thrilled that I had finished it and well before the deadline of the end of February. That was the creative stage over.
But my work wasn’t really finished. I had weeks ahead of me of revision and editing.
I took my time, reading and re-reading each chapter carefully; adding more flesh to the characters, correcting flaws - one being that I had put one scene in the wrong place chronologically. There were other bits and pieces that needed to be changed and then at last I reached the stage where I could revise no longer. The manuscript now needed to be appraised by fresh eyes. So, off to my publishers it went.
I could not quite realise that I had finished it. It is always like that with me. KEEPING SECRETS is my twelfth novel and yet I am always overcome when I reach the end of the creative stage of a book.
Of course, although I have finished the book, it has not finished with me. The manuscript will be back and forth over the next month or so, as I do my best to deal with my editor’s recommendations for various changes. No writer, no matter how grand or clever can write a perfect book the first time. Writers, even bestselling ones are fallible. Well – we are human after all.
But in the meantime before the manuscript does come back for that extra work I feel I am at a loose end. I feel bereft. For twelve months of the year I am normally engaged in writing a book and now suddenly I don’t have a book to write. What will I do with my time?
I used to have a splurge of reading – science fiction, murder mysteries, family sagas etc, etc. Somehow I can’t do that any longer. Nowadays I have the urge to put brush to canvas. I don’t have any talent at painting, of course, but I will not let a little thing like no talent stop me. After all, half the celebrities we see lionised have no talent.
I want – need - to paint at this time to relax and it is a relaxing kind of occupation. I am trying my hand at acrylics at the moment – and getting nowhere fast. I have a small experience of watercolours although I have by no means mastered the techniques and I have dabbled with oils in the past - lovely but messy!
Acrylics are also messy and infuriating. They dry up so quickly on the palette. I have just bought a book on how to use them. Let’s hope I can get the hang of it before the start of my next book bursts out of me.
I have an idea for the next one already – well – the skeleton of an idea. But I am not going to rush at it. I want to sit and paint and dream first. I love colours and I love dabbing at the pristine white canvas with a brush loaded with paint.
Ah! Happy days ahead.