|All printed out and ready for editing!|
Part of that is because I'm not always getting a run at it. I need to balance editing with all the other calls on my time. Sometimes I can manage my diary so that external demands are consolidated into as few days as possible. Other times I seem to have someone or another demanding my attention every day of the week, leaving me with small parcels of time that never quite seem enough to get stuck into the work I need to do.
However, I can't just blame external demands. There's a huge amount of fear and procrastination in there too. Once it's 'finished' I have to do something with it - send it to agents, send it to publishers, let other people (beyond my beta readers) look at it. And maybe they'll love it...
But maybe they'll hate it.
So maybe I'll just not finish it and then no-one can hate it...
My writing buddy (the excellent Stuart Lennon - check out his website here) says it's the equivalent of the 'difficult second album' and he may be on to something. Publishing "The Wrong Kind of Clouds" was in some ways me testing the waters. Could I get it out there? Would anyone buy it? Would anyone read it? Would anyone like it?? In many ways it's done better than I expected (though I accept that my expectations were zero) and if nothing else, I've proved I can do it and I met a whole bunch of fabulous people at "Bloody Scotland" and the Crime Writers Association.
With this book, there are expectations on me that weren't there before. I want this one to be better than "The Wrong Kind of Clouds", but how does anyone decide that? More sales? Better reviews? There are many books out there with low sales that are fantastic books, and some bestsellers that suck more than a Hoover. Likewise, there are books with both great reviews and awful reviews.
The scientist in me can barely cope with this. I can't measure anything to tell me empirically whether this book is as good as "The Wrong Kind of Clouds" or if it's better ... or (heaven forfend!) worse. It's all subjective opinion. People who loved "The Wrong Kind of Clouds" might hate this one. Okay, people who loved "The Wrong Kind of Clouds" might also love this one, but I don't feel self-confident enough to believe it all the time.
I know... I just need to bite the bullet and do the edits and get it out there. And hope that people like it.
Wish me luck!