Move along please. Nothing to see here.

Posted on Posted in Starting a New Story, The Writing Life

There are several things that happen when you are a writer with a contract and a deadline as opposed to a writer who is pre-published. Things which you do not expect – at least in my case. No doubt there are many wise and organised authors who had expected these phenomena and adjusted their lives accordingly. I wish I was one of them.

In my case these include:

* A Non-Einstein-ian contraction of the space time continuum.

As in – Oh **** !  what do you mean it’s July already? What happened to June? How did I miss it?

As in –Oh. I can get that done WELL BEFORE the RNA Conference. Like cocoa I can.

This is deeply concerning to a scientist type who would prefer time to remain stable. OHHH NOOO . When you tell someone that you will deliver by date X, that date is so far away as to be invisible. Next thing you know it is zooming towards you at warp factor ten firing photon torpedoes. [Yes I have seen the new Star Trek movie – brilliant!]

* Writer’s grunge becames normal day wear.Flip flops essential.  I now love elastic waist trousers and baggy T-shirts. which leads to:

* Writer’s girth. No gym for several weeks plus occasional outings to lovely barbecues and food events plus need for carbs on an hourly basis = well, it is not for the faint hearted.  My liver is jelly. And now, of course, it is pouring with rain.

On the plus side:

* I loved my characters and I really enjoyed writing this story. Yes, I had done a lot of background work and outlined the scenes, but the writing was terific fun.

 * You discover that no matter how many hours you sit staring at the blank screen/paper your NET output each day remains remarkably consistent. Note the word NET. I have a monster file of deleted text, but the daily wordcount of  words that I am happy with, rather than GROSS words written, has remained quite consistent. Fascinating.

*I have not missed the TV and other diversions one jot.

* Working in an intensely focused way has taught me a huge amount about what I am capable of achieving in a relatively short time. I have come out of the experience with a much better understanding of who and what and how.


For me, writing a novel is like going to stay at someone else’s home for a month/six months/whatever, and sharing their lives. Then you come home and do the laundry and take off to stay with another couple.

My next book for the Romance Line is not due until the end of November. NOVEMBER??I hear you say. That’s months away!

Please refer to item one above. And I have holiday in September.

I am in the mindset. I know what I want to write about. So time to create the proposal for the next book, while my lovely and wise editors read the book and decide which bits are total pants.

PLUS I have some fab books to read which have been calling me for weeks.

This is my desk and workarea as of 8am this morning. [The walls are actually cream.]

On with the show! And a new box file. :-)

5 thoughts on “Move along please. Nothing to see here.

  1. Thank you Liz. It is reassuring to know that this does not only happen to newbies.
    And many congratulations for completing your book. The Romance Line editors now have TWO fanastic manuscripts to read LOL.
    I DO hope that you enjoy ‘Always the Bridesmaid.’
    Yes, I would be happy to add this post to the new Harlequin Romance Writers Blog on the e-Harlequin site.
    Will skip across there today!

  2. I love that post, Nina. It encapsulates my world. But, amazingly and only three weeks behind schedule, I have finally delivered my book and can now read yours. In the meantime is there any chance of you posting this one on the HR eH blog?

  3. Deb. You made me blush. Thank you. I am sincerely thrilled that you liked Amy and Jared’s story. If I have provided some respite from legalise my work is done :-) [ Mr Nina deals with a lot of legal work so can appreciate the joy].

    Judy – Thank you for the offer and kind words. The box file is green with a stick on little plastic slot for the name of the wip on the spine.
    Perhaps fake emeralds? glitter? procrastination RULES!

  4. Hope you enjoy some well-earned rest before getting on with writing your next book.

    Have JUST finished reading Always the Bridesmaid and ADORED it. Couldn’t put it down, or stop thinking about it, which isn’t good in my job when I’m supposed to be faffing about with Deeds and checking legalities of documents etc.

    I always thought you were a great writer, and now I know it for sure. x

  5. Fab post, Nina. I love that idea about living in someone else’s house when you’re writing. Sometimes, in my case, I think I overstay the welcome!
    What a clean and bountiful office you have milady.
    That boxfile really needs fake gem stones and sparkle on the front. Will try and get you some while I’m procrastinating.

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