When NOT to start Writing

Be patient. That’s what my soon-to-be-eighty dad told me last week.

I’d been chatting with my parents about writing, sharing my agitated ideas for my third novel with them.

‘Be patient,’ said my dad in his soft Irish lilt.

This from a bloke who has never kicked the cardboard on an Ikea flat-pack. This from a bloke who has hung doors without swearing. He goes on long walks on winter-thick days, my dad, and he’s the most patient person I know. Unknown

I’m pretending I’ve inherited the skill. I’ve forced myself to stop pacing; I’ve shut down my computer each night at nine. I’m still working on book three though, walking forwards with it: Listening, watching, waiting.

There are lots of ideas swilling around in my foggy head, it’s just I’m unsure they’re the right ones. There’s a story about a woman and a teenage girl. There’s a corrosive, white landscape. There’s a feisty little voice whispering at my ear.

Book three is gathering, percolating, but it’s a bit blurry still. I wrote 50,000 words of a book once which ended up in the trash can because I’d started without thinking it through properly. So for now, l’m doing like my dad and being patient. Because the best work comes from patience, don’t you think?

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