Sometime around the middle of last year, I decided that I wanted to write a book. I got stuck into seeking out a story to tell, went and sat in a coffee shop (aka JK Rowling) and worked out the chapter breakdown. Next I raced off to Ikea to buy writer office type things - including the obligatory blackboard and baroque mirror. My friends and family gave me much encouragement and then, finally, on the 5th of September 2011, I began writing.
I finished on page 279, five and a half months later. I felt like I had been in labour for the whole time. This writing malarkey was not easy. Being over forty does not help either. I had to make notes of everything! Names of all the characters, timelines, dates, the lists were endless.
Eighty thousand words didn't come very easily to me. The story is quite 'intense' (my husband's' crit!), it follows the story of two girls, one white, one black, growing up in the height of apartheid in South Africa. I did feel I wanted to tell the story to anyone who would listen, as I still feel many people gloss over what it was really like in South Africa, in Apartheid times.
Much of the story is based on my own experiences and others close to me. I only hope that after such a long labour, I have the strength to labour even more, finding an agent! Not so easy when working full time and still trying to run a home and family.
Many others are doing it well, and successfully, and to them (Rosie Fiore-Burt and others) I say thank you. For being an encouragement and a beacon of hope in the days, when even the lovely view from my office window, was not enough to push me further into the reaches of my belly and pull out the next chapter of my saga.
PS. Rosie's new book is Babies in Waiting, a must have!
I shall, no doubt, keep procrastinating over the necessary rewrites, before I start submitting to all and sundry. Please check in and see how I am doing.