I returned from holiday recently, to fabulous news. My book Willow Farrington Bites Back! was Highly Commended in the IP Picks award for creative non-fiction. Now it’s being published! How wonderful!
Following completion of the first, fairly crude edits, I got back down to work on the current work in progress (WIP). I had stopped work on this book recently as I found myself struck, as always, by the absolute certainty, that I was writing a ‘bad book’. I like to cycle my manuscripts though, have one on the go while another is ‘out there’ with a publisher or agent. That way, by the time I hear anything back from publishers, I have more to offer the publisher OR another piece of work upon which to pin my hopes should I experience the ‘Big R’. As such, it was important to me to have a working manuscript during this period or editing etc…I just couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm!
Having attended a couple of writing workshops in the past, I know I’m not the only person to feel this way approximately three chapters into a book. Still, isn’t it funny how the mind works? Once my brain had designated the WIP ‘bad’, there was no budging that book for weeks on end! I did vast amounts of procrastinating (as evidenced by my sparkling kitchen and the divine meals I’ve been serving lately). I avoided my computer as much as was physically possible. I did everything I could to ensure I didn’t have to read (again) the abominable proof of my inability with words.
Then this week, I braced myself and did it. I read it. It’s not bad! It’s actually pretty good (hehehe, even if I do say so myself). Since then I’ve been producing about a thousand words a day and find that I can’t wait to settle down to write every day. Isn’t it funny how easily our perceptions shape our behaviour? Even when we know that the perception is incorrect it’s an uphill battle to change the behaviour.
Thus I return to Willow; the queen of overcoming inaccurate self-perception. In order to regain her health and overcome her eating disorder, Willow had to learn that her body was wonderful, no matter what her evil inner voice told her. She had to learn to eat even though her body convinced her it wasn’t hungry. She had to learn to differentiate between those things worth caring about and those that were not.
That’s a big ask of a fourteen-year-old. Maybe that’s why at sixteen, Willow is one of my favourite people. She’ll be coming to the book launch (after all the book is about her), so be sure to be there. I’ll let you know the details when I have them!