Saturday, 7 May 2011

Why I'm here...

I love a good quote.  The kind you come across in dusty compendiums in secondhand book shops.  The ones you find in a novel you're already loving then you read that line and just have to grab a pen and jot it down.  Even the sort that pop up in hit 80s movies, delivered by a teen hero in a ropey bathrobe...

To launch my blog I wanted to pick a quote and stick by it.  One that would set the tone for future posts, and even explain why I'm blogging in the first place.  So I turned to the finest minds of this and previous generations, and... came all the way back to the kid in the bathrobe.  Ferris Bueller.

"Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while, 
you could miss it."

But why choose to write a blog at all?  It's because I've reached a point in my writing where I want to remember every tiny step of the process, chart what happens next, and recall all the little things that led me here.

I spent most of last year writing a novel.  The three years before that I'd been working on it too; a little here, a little there, but last year was the big one.  The time when I decided to devote myself entirely to writing and see what happened.  As a result I finished the novel and found an agent, Rowan Lawton at PFD.

I met Rowan at her Covent Garden office.  She was inspired and inspiring and altogether lovely.  Afterwards I phoned my husband from the street.  I said, 'I think I've found my agent.'  We both yelped a little, then I hurried to the tube.  But before I got there I stopped and stood still.  Buffeted by the tides of tourists and commuters I told myself to remember this moment, and cherish it always.  It wasn't a moment where I was entertaining foolhardy notions of glittering deals and worldwide acclaim.  It was simply a moment when I thought, I am happy.  I am SO happy.  I am so very, very happy.  That's all.

Of course, as Ferris says, life started moving pretty fast after that.  I got on the tube.  I got a headache.  I got hit with a £50 fine on the train, as my ticket was off-peak and I was on a peak service.  By the time I got home to Bristol, the giddy moment on the street had passed - even if it was pretty much resurrected by my husband and his late-night offering of pizza and champagne.

You see, the road to a published novel may well be paved with uncertainty, strewn with pitfalls and even - if the naysayers are to be heeded - shaped by disappointments, but... I'm on it.  And my eyes are wide open.

This blog is about me stopping and looking around.  And hopefully not missing too much along the way.