Today I lugged the latest print out of the novel to the nearest coffee pouring establishment to sit and read it in peace and quiet. Sadly the only place open was Sainsbury’s, so I sat in their franchise of Starbucks reading amongst screaming cupcake fuelled children. It wasn’t quite the scenario I had pictured when doing the final read-through, but that has been the way ever since I decided to write this book. Everything I thought I would do – write with a smile on my face every single day, actually have a desk, open champagne on finishing – hasn’t actually happened yet. Okay, let’s list it.
Preconception: All authors write from a book-lined room in peace and quiet.
Reality: I write between bursts of my mum telling me the plot of Midsummer Murders, including the repeats.
Preconception: All authors write every day.
Reality: Try it after a three hour commute sandwiching an eight hour day in the office. Some evenings I can only write the word ‘ug’.
Preconception: All authors have their own desk.
Reality: I think I told you before I use the ‘Twisted Author’ pose in which to sit on my bed and tap on the computer which rests upon a chest of drawers. This is as comfy as indigestion.
Preconception: All authors have a local homely café in which to edit their novels and think Great Thoughts.
Reality: The local cafés around my gaff smell of fried egg sarnies and attract people of a certain disposition, i.e. mad.
Preconception: All authors will write with an occasional wine glass close to hand, if they fancy it.
Reality: Vodka. Lots of. If I fancy it.
Preconception: All authors will own a printer that works.
Reality: My printer only works if I stare at it.
Preconception: It won’t take that long to write a novel.
Reality: Har har har har.
Preconception: Every day authors are really happy and eager to start writing.
Reality: Some days I cry.
Preconception: All authors are brilliant at Scrabble.
Reality: Faced with the board, the only word I can ever spell is ‘suds’.