|Lionel Shriver - pic from The Guardian|
This week, I have seen covers for Novel #2, The Closet of Savage Mementos, (exciting!) and have narrowed it down to two possibilities. The designer is rejigging both at the moment and I am dying to see the finished products. I have just written blurb for that novel too and am waiting to see what my editor makes of that.
Meanwhile, my agent and I are toing and froing across the Atlantic about the title for Novel #3, which she will be submitting to publishers this month. My original title is not all-encompassing enough so we are trying all sorts, from the wordy to the downright plain. Nothing has satisfied both of us yet so we will continue researching, then batting things back and forth until we land on the right title.
In the middle of all this I have two deadlines for stories, one of which is proving baffling to me (the story that is, not the deadline). The other is nearly done but it is mournful and I am not 100% certain it will suit the publication. Hmmm.
I was reading an article about Jennifer Weiner this week in the New Yorker (on gender imbalance in publishing etc.) in which she mentioned personal dressers and personal assistants and all sorts. I'm not quite at that stage (!!) but, sometimes, I feel there should be three of me: The Writer, The Admin Person and The Mother.
All this busy-ness reminds me, too, of that recent Lionel Shriver article in the New Republic, about being pulled 20 different directions as a writer, and which one sniffy commentator called 'a writerly diva fit'. Pfff. Lionel was making the point that being too busy means less time for actual writing (which is very agitating for a writer). A quote: 'Now that every village in the United Kingdom has its own literary festival, I could credibly spend my entire year, every year, flitting from Swindon to Peterborough to Aberdeen, jawing interminably about what I’ve already written—at the modest price of scalding self-disgust.'
I'm with Lionel. I'll end on a more uplifting quote from her about the whole business: 'If sometimes stressful or distracting, even subsidiary commitments are also opportunities: to connect with flesh-and-blood readerships, to air views and grievances, to exploit a more theatrical side of one’s character (I’m a ham), and for pity’s sake to get out of the house.'