He had been going out with my friend while I was in the early, exciting, jump out of planes, do stand-up comedy and naked modelling stage of the blog – and he’d witnessed a lot of the craziness/excitement up close. It was lovely to see him.
‘What’s happening with the book?’ he asked. ‘I’ve been looking on Amazon. I even tried to get on Brazilian Amazon to buy it.’
‘Is there a Brazilian Amazon?’ I asked.
‘I don’t know, I kept getting links to the rainforest,’ he said. ‘But what’s happening? Can I buy it? Is out yet?’
I was so touched that he’d been looking for it and embarrassed about the answer I had to give him: No, it’s not out, no you can’t buy it.
I then gave him a long and convoluted explanation, which I’ll share with you now. If you’re interested. I’m sorry that I haven’t updated you sooner.
As some of you might remember I went off to Ireland to write the book this summer. I was in my friend’s cottage and it was all very idyllic. I felt like I was in the rom-com version of what it’s like to go and write your first book.
Except I was probably washing my hair a lot less than a leading lady would be, and I didn’t fall in love with a hot farmer. Although, Jerry, in the farm next door, was charm on a stick and did take me to see a calf being born, which was very cool.
Anyway, the first draft got sent off to my agent at the end of July, and in turn, to the Brazilian publisher.*
I then came back to London and was offered a great work project.
I thought this project would take me about six weeks after which time I’d get back to doing any (minor) changes needed to my award-winning, best-selling book. Then, happy ever after, Hollywood movie, mega success etc… You know the drill.
There were just a few hitches.
The six week project turned into nearly five months of full-on work. It was all consuming. My book got abandoned and so did the blog.
During this time my very clever, very patient agent sent me back notes on the changes that needed to be made to my book.
Ernest Hemingway said that ‘the first draft of anything is sh*t’ and it appears he was right. (Well, of course he was right, he was Ernest Hemingway.)
Suffice it to say the book needed – and still needs a lot of work.
So now, six months later, having had a long detour, I’m back at my mum’s flat, in my pyjamas (new from TK Maxx and very lovely), seeing if I can work some magic on this sh*tty first draft. I have butterflies in my stomach most days and there have been tears.
The truth is, I don’t know if I have what it takes to write a decent book. But I guess we’ll find out…
My friend sent me a message yesterday telling me to ‘keep slugging’ – and that’s what I’m doing. I’m also trying to remember not to take it all – and myself – too seriously. And to wash my hair, occasionally…
And that’s it. I wish I was writing this from a Brazilian beach, with a cocktail in my hand and a launch party to invite you to but we’re not not there… yet.
Yesterday, on Facebook, this little beauty popped up. It was a flash back from January 31st two years ago, when I was in that early, exciting, jump out of planes, do stand-up comedy and naked yoga stage of the blog.
It reminded me that whatever happens with the book – we really did have a blast, didn’t we? And that’s all that really matters.
LOVE TO YOU ALL and thank you for being there.
*A recap: I turned down a UK publishing deal at the start of the blog, because it didn’t feel quite right… then in a random turn of events, a Brazilian publisher got in touch wanting to buy the Portuguese language rights to the book, so we signed that deal. But when this draft is done we’ll try again for a UK deal. Sorry, all a bit complicated.