Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Have just caught up with The Guardian's how to write series over my morning tea & granola.

Robert Harris quotes several of his favourite pieces of advice & this bit rang the biggest bell:

Have courage, and remember the words of my third authority, Philip Roth, in 2003. "Over the years," he observed, looking back on his career on his 70th birthday, "what you develop is a tolerance for your own crudeness. And patience with your own crap, really. Belief in your crap, which is just 'stay with your crap and it will get better, and come back every day and keep going'."

Something from Ted Hughes' letters has been lodged at the back of my mind as I've been compiling my new early chapters. He said Gulliver's Travels is something every aspiring writer should read. I read it so long ago I had to look at the first chapters again to see what he meant. What I noted was the effortless, calm but breakneck speed at which the story gets going.

Progress has been slow, I'm on Chapter 2 now, but Chapter 1 has been put in an online file labelled LOCKED AND DONE. I spent a lot of time on it and now it's dusted and not to be looked at again until I've finished the whole draft. I'm much more relaxed about this book, I've got a good agent now, I have some work and am balancing it all up into as pleasant a way of being as is possible. Yesterday I was in a foul mood but today am not letting anything get me down. Sometimes the supermarket haul gives me an idea of how things are going. Today's fresias, grapefruit, vine toms, and chives has a good feel about it. Maybe it's just the joy of getting away from our local rubbishy Waitrose.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.


Anonymous said...

Always, you are an inspiration.
Angie x

Liz Morris said...

I've just read you blog all the way back till March 07. (I'm procastinating my book-keeping and invoicing - always a bad idea) But what a reward! Loved it, heart breaking, witty, true, inspirational. You're making it work mum and writer.......

Amanda Mann said...

Thank you so much Angie and Liz. The days have not been good lately and your comments really made a difference.

Liz Morris said...

Please feel good, your blogs really is inspirational , so many of us working mums get down with the challenges of juggling life, work, kids, partner, house etc. I'm busy collecting stories of mums going back to work as part of a national research project and there are thousands of women who feel as you do yet keep it to themselves. Yet in doing what you do, you give us all a bit of perspective!