THE SISTERS' SONG coming in January 2018 from Allen and Unwin. Sign up to be the first to know. x Louise

I thought I’d squeeze a blog post in before the end of the financial year—so here’s an update:

The Novel:

Unfortunately, I don’t have much to report on this front, except that I’m stuck. So stuck, I’m considering seeking help.

When I wrote the previous blog post, I was bursting with ideas, scribbling away on my butcher’s paper, and ready to sink into another rewrite.

I began feverishly and reached page 60 within a couple of days. Then I hit a wall. Since then, I’ve kept going back and making more changes, or reversing the changes I’ve made, and I haven’t moved on for a couple of weeks.

I suspect the reason is that I’m not sure what I’m doing. The story’s really changing on this rewrite, and I don’t know where I’m going with it. I don’t even know what sort of story I’m trying to tell anymore.

Up until now, I’ve written the story I wanted to tell—I let the characters do what they wanted to do, and I let the themes emerge ‘organically’, because that’s how I write. But now I’m writing to please someone else— I’m trying to write something publishable, something people want to read, and it’s not just for me anymore.

So I’m stuck and floundering and becoming despondent, and I’ve decided to seek help—I’ll keep you posted if anything comes of that …

Anything worth achieving never comes easily—I know that from my medical student days. If I’d written a blog during those years it would be full of troughs and tears, doubts and despair, and days of wondering if there really was light at the end of the tunnel.

One day, I hope I’ll read these blog posts and have a laugh as I remember the doubts and the frustrations, because there was light at the end of the tunnel and I’ve forgotten all the hair-tearing to get there!

In other news: 

1. Cutting back on social media has not only freed up more time for writing, but for reading, too. I read my first Elizabeth Jolley, ‘The Newspaper of Claremont Street’, and enjoyed the quirky characters, although I wouldn’t say I loved the book.

Right now, I’m reading Charlotte Wood’s ‘The Submerged Cathedral’ and I am loving that!

2. After sitting white-knuckled next to Daughter #1 while she learnt to drive, I handballed Daughter #2’s lessons over to her father. However, last week I gave in and sat in the passenger seat while she drove. I’m happy to report we both survived.

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3. Son #2’s orchestra entertained us a couple of weeks’ ago with a delightful concert.

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4. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s spring in our garden:

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5. My daughter’s been making cupcakes again:

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7. The dogs sat for portraits:

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8. And, finally, a question:

#colinbarnett #ianhealey

Hope your writing is going better than mine!

Best wishes,

Louise xx

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