It continues to surprise me how much I can suck at this job after all these years. I’m blogging because this morning’s writing session was so frickin demoralising. Roughly speaking, everything I write of late goes like this:
Here is a setting. Look at this detail. There are people here. They say things to each other. Everybody thinks for a while. The sun sets.
I am dyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyying. Shouldn’t this be easy by now? I’ve written 21 books. I don’t often let myself think about that fact. TWENTY-ONE of the suckers. Sure, some of them were short, but some were really long. Those 21 books represent just over 1.9 million words, all in the right order. So don’t be saying to me, “What would you tell your students in this situation?” because my students are usually working on their first or second books. Not their twenty-second. I have no advice for somebody writing their twenty-second book, except maybe, “Dude, if it’s not working by now, perhaps you should take up topiary.”
This book is too important to me. It’s not just that 22 is kind of a favourite number. My birthday is 22/12, my husband’s is 22/10 (and if you add the 12 and the 10 together, you get another 22). And the bingo call for 22 is two ducks swimming, and I really like ducks. And also, it’s just such a pretty, buttercup yellow number. But ducks and buttercups aside, this book is just special because it is and because I’ve fallen in love with the setting and the characters and now I’m in charge of them, I can do nothing with them except make them have tedious bouts of longing then occasionally shout at each other. I feel like a bad mother who realises she should relinquish her child to somebody more responsible. Somebody else come write this book for me! Robin Hobb could do a good job of it, or Guy Gavriel Kay, or Kate Elliott. Meanwhile, I’d best dig out my hedging shears and look for a hedge to turn into a giant panda.