“All my friends are living saints, broken still but never breaking ties.” Polar Bear Club, 2010
Welcome back. At last, the next in the series of Lifting The Lid. You’ve been super patient. If you read my last blog, you’ll know that I have been busy with the re-launch of The Radio and The Page. This very evening I have actually finished novel number 3, “A Tiny Feeling of Fear”.
I have pressed the ‘send’ button and it is now heading over to my ace editor, Charlie Wilson for her to work her magic on and basically rip it shreds. I’m used to it now.
Last time in Lifting The Lid #4 we looked at the dreaded edit. In the previous Lifting The Lid posts, we’ve been through all the stages to here. What motivates me to write, how I go about it, editing, finalising.
Today we are looking at the moment that the edit is over and what you hold in your hands is the finished article. Done and dusted.
So now it really is finished. And I mean finished.
You should be extremely proud of getting this far.
In fact, so proud that in my case, it was time to hand it over. To give it away.
The dedication allows you to do this. As you’ll know The Radio is loosely based on the tragedy that beset our family when my brother took his own life. The Radio would never have come about if it wasn’t for him. Unfortunately, those events moulded the person I became. But conversely, his death inspired me to go on to write, to leave something behind. It was easy to dedicate The Radio to him.
The Radio was also dedicated to my three children. The three most important people in my life. Watching them, learning from them, just being with them gave me the inspiration to achieve my dreams. They made me look at myself as a person and talk myself out of my inertia and into writing.
The Radio is no longer my book. It is theirs.
The Page was even more simple. As you’ll have learned from Lifting The Lid #4, my girlfriend Nikky literally saved The Page and perhaps even my writing career. I was moments away from scrapping the whole thing and giving up. She persuaded me not to. It took less than a second to give her The Page. It’s gone on to be downloaded over 15,000 times in four months. It’s her book now.
To me the dedication is perhaps the most fun part of finishing a book. It really is the final part of completion of your manuscript (as you’ll have read previously, your book is never finished but this is as close as you can get). Reward yourself.
The difficult part comes now with A Tiny Feeling of Fear which I have written in less than six months. With a full time job, this takes some commitment and a hell of a lot of time away from friends and family. I’m too tired today to think of the dedication. I think I’ll sleep first.
Celebrate the fact you’ve finished your manuscript. Next time we’ll look at what to do with the ream of completed manuscript in front of you. After all, surely you want it publishing?
ps. I strongly suggest you follow @atfof on twitter and sign up at www.atfof.com (I promise it will be worth it).