Dinah, by the way, didn’t start writing until she was 60 years old (so one of the obstacles she had to overcome – at least in her own head – was the thought that the publishing industry is only interested in bright young things).
Oh, and during the pandemic, when some of us were running around like headless chickens, she wrote two books! I am in awe.
Dinah talked about coping with rejection, feeling jealous of other writers (that ‘why them and not me?’ feeling) and how perfectionism can block your writing. Then, she was asked whether – apart from her morning walk – she had any writing routines or rituals that helped her to focus and get into the ‘writing zone’? She laughed and admitted that she’s a workaholic who often has to be ‘surgically-removed’ from her desk.
And I must admit to a pang of jealousy then. Why her and not me? (Answers on a postcard please).
And in the same week, in the newsletter that I received from best-selling novelist Clare Mackintosh (one of many writers’ newsletters that I subscribe to), she made a plea: ‘Does anyone have a cure for workaholism?’
Before getting published as a novelist, Clare set up the Chipping Norton Literary Festival (ChipLitFest) with a friend and had a column in Cotswold Life magazine (which started life in a blog, apparently…) and now, she’s working to a deadline for book six.
As soon as that’s been zapped off to her editor, she’ll be switching to a non-fiction book and will be writing 2000 words every afternoon for a month to get the first draft done (!) and then, in September, she’ll be making a start on book seven. She’s struggling to switch off, not surprisingly. Clare is a self-confessed workaholic (she also has a family so I’m really not sure how she fits everything in!). I would quite happily relieve her of a bit of that drive, self-belief and getting-on-with-it-ness.
And for the sake of balance, let’s mention a workaholic male writer: Alexander McCall Smith can apparently ‘turn out five novels a year’. The tip about the notebooks is a good one though. Read all about it here.
As I edge a little nearer to my dream of being a published novelist (and there *may* be some news about that soon….), I have realised that I might have to start acquiring some workaholic tendencies. So, my plea of earlier, as to how I might do that, is no joke! If anyone’s got any ideas, let me know.
Blooming Murder – Winner
On a different subject, the winner of Simon Whaley’s book ‘Blooming Murder’, which was the giveaway in my last post, was Margaret Mather and the book is now winging its way to her and may in fact, already have landed.
Well done, Margaret and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
Phew, it’s hot, isn’t it? Have a picture of paddling Bonnie to make you feel a little cooler…