Monday, March 07, 2016


I was so interested in Vicki's post last week about why it is that she writes. I felt really envious when she said that she doesn't have to write. Because I do.

I think I've shared with you before my little fantasy that at my christening party the Good Fairy was invited but the Bad Fairy wasn't. The Good Fairy wanted to give me a wonderful gift, the Bad Fairy wanted to put on a horrible curse: they both spoke together and said, 'She shall be a writer.'

What is it that drives me? I don't know, I only know that when I'm not writing, I'm miserable. Sometimes I'm miserable when I am writing – when the story sticks, when the characters won't do what I want them to, when the inspiration doesn't seem to be there – but I know it would be much, much worse if I didn't.

But when it's working well, when I feel as if all I'm doing is taking down dictation from somewhere and my fingers can't keep up – ah, that's the hit that feeds my addiction.  I can't give up.

I wonder sometimes what people think about when half of their mind isn't on the story they're currently working on. For me it's a bit like living with a split screen; I'm quite adept at providing an answer to questions I haven't really heard, a talent I think I developed at school to cope with the teacher who would ask, 'What did I just say?' when she noticed I was daydreaming.

So I can't claim to write for anyone except me. I'm thrilled when other people join me for the ride - readers' emails are the very nicest part of being an author – but if they didn't, I'd still be there at the desk telling myself the story I'm writing because I want to know how it ends.

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