You start your novel, get the scenes down, complete the first draft. Fine so far. Any writer knows the first draft is not a work of art, or even saleable. So the real work begins; enhanching, slashing and burning, sweating over that love scene, ramping up the fight scenes, checking pacing, inserting tension, moulding and stroking it into something presentable.
Normal people work 9 to 5 (well, 8.30 to 6 these days). Writers? No. Many write after they’ve come home, fed the cat, cooked supper, helped kids, talked to the significant other. And/or they get up an hour or two early, or snatch lunchtime on their netbook, or waiting for the school rugby match to finish, meeting family at the station. I’ve even jotted down plot notes in the supermarket queue.
And as for waking up at 3am with a stupendous idea, or a horrible realisation you’ve made your main character be in two places at once – cold sweat breaks out at the thought.
But even when firmly shut down, when you are resolutely doing something mainstream like staving off hunger in the family, throwing the accumulated heaps of trash out, ot discovering you have no clean clothes left, that siren keyboard sings its song. Just one sentence. You must get that phrase down. You need to type that insight into the end paragraph.
I sit in my friend’s house this morning, early cuppa at the side, hurrying to finish this piece. I’ve got writing to do, you know…