Every writer loses their nerve when they’re in the early stages of a new book. It happens at about 20,000-25,000 words for me. My characters aren’t yet in my bloodstream, the plot’s still pretty ropey and I can’t help but compare it to my last book, which is the best it will ever be because I’ve been working on it for a year and it has undergone weeks of edits. This one is TOTALLY SHIT compared to the last one, I mutter to myself, looking feverish and mental. It is not working. I’VE LOST IT.
I’m so much better at dealing with these thoughts these days and can mostly reverse them quite quickly. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to send the book to someone just to check I’m on track. I am represented by the best literary agent in the world who acts not only as my business representative but also my editor and so I call her and beg her to read it.
Yesterday I left my phone at home all day and got back to this message from her:
‘Hi, Robinson, how are you. Give me a call at some point to talk about your fourth novel. But I’ll tell you now that I’m calling to do a big rave about it. It’s absolutely brilliant, and you should carry on exactly as you are. Really, it’s fantastic. Well done.’
Oh god, the happiness! The relief! And I’ll be fine now. I can go ahead and write the fucker without any lingering doubts. YESSSSSS!