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A Letter To A Thick Chunk Of Paper


Dear Book,

Sorry for telling you to leave and never come back. But sometimes… well, sometimes I hate you.

You don’t even realise you’re doing it, but you make everything so difficult. Whenever we’re in the same room, I hollowly stare at you – for hours or days – like a boneheaded idiot gazing at your pages with nothing to say. You’re overwhelming and knowing where to start can seem impossible. So I often don’t start at all. I just ignore you and hope that you’ll be gone when I get back. 

The other day the guy behind Game Of Thrones said he likes having written but doesn’t like writing. That struck a chord and I’m pretty sure you know why. You do know why, don’t you?

It’s been a while now. We’d met briefly before but it was fleeting. How it eventually became a commitment like it is now I’ll never know. And it pains me to say it, but there’s frequently times when I wish we’d never met, because it just doesn’t come naturally to me. I often look at real writers from a distance and think you should just go and hang with them instead. They have skill and know what they’re doing. You’d be in better company with them. 

You know I said I hated you? Well that’s sometimes true, but at least the hatred goes both ways. At least we have that in common. 

You hate when I think we can’t compete and should go our separate ways.
You hate that sometimes I swear. Shit.
You hate that you frequently have to come at the end of the to-do list.
You hate when we went away and fell out and I spent time with her instead of you.
You hate that our process is so condition-dependent and full of false excuses.
Not unless I’ve had caffeine or a sandwich or am feeling “inspired”.

We’ve probably grown recently but haven’t realised it yet. It was our biggest rejection. We tried to keep it under the radar and act like we didn’t care but we did. We really did. I thought we’d cracked it. It looked so promising until, out of the blue, the publisher said sorry-but-no. I’m pretty sure that’s what getting stabbed in the eyeball with a dirty Swiss Army knife feels like. Let’s not do that again. Let’s do it on our own instead.

There’s still work to do. A few months’ worth. Neither of us realised we were signing up for something that would take this long, but unfortunately you’re still well rough around the edges and need polishing. But holy toast-crumbs, we’ve come a long way.

Sorry, I take it back. I don’t hate you at all. You’re alright when you’re not being difficult.

Yeah. You’re alright.


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4 comments on this post

  1. Tim says:

    Hey man,

    I like the photo that says ‘Change: Start. End. Middle?’! Ha ha. Can relate to that.

    (It does get easier from the first draft onwards!)

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