Panic and Emptiness

First of all it’s not THAT bad. It’s just a phrase I like, I love Conran- he’s one of my favourite writers.

I have a lot to do – but it is doable. I have plan and schedule and a desk and a lunch hour and a clocking off time when I go to pick up my little girl up at six pm. There actually are enough hours in the day, I know because I’ve worked it out. Now I just have to do it, or I should say the rest of it because a lot of it is already done. It’s just that speaking as a person who really can’t stand heights, taking that final step off the precipice and into the headlong descent of the last big push is giving me vertigo.

But in the end (by which I mean tomorrow, I’m on schedule remember!) I will feel the fear and I’ll throw myself back into it and attack it and live it and breath it and love it until it is done. Because I love this. I love writing, yes it stresses me out sometimes, yes it keeps me awake in the middle of the night, YES I am sometimes to be found banging my head against the burr walnut of my expensive desk BUT THIS IS ME and the idea of giving up is impossible to imagine. At the risk of going all Gloria Gaynor this is what I do and what I love and I never forget how privileged I am to be able to do it. (Plus, I Will Survive)

There are few things in this life better than the free fall into writing, that wonderful tumble of words and ideas that somehow eventually find a form and make a book. So what I should do is stop with the Panic and Emptiness nonsense and get on with it. Enough with the pep talk.

Comments 8

  1. Hi Rowan
    I thought I’d come by and say hello and welcome to the novel racers. I’m a bit behind the times because I’ve just had a trip to the UK.
    It’s interesting to see your frustration sit alongside your love of writing. And I’m impressed by your discipline! I need some of that.

  2. Hi Rowan

    I’m with you on the “banging head on desk” experience although in my case it’s a cheap Argos flat pack type experience! And then there are days like yesterday when I felt all warm and cosy – tapping away at the keyboard as the rain streaked down outside and I LOVED it.

  3. Well said! That’s why we do it isn’t it? Thanks for your helpful comments on my disappointment, this is just about moving on to a different stage in writing, being determined to get it out there. Lots to think about.

  4. Hi Rowan

    Hope you’re feeling less headbanging this morning. Well done on handing over your novel to the publishers recently. 125K words must be a weight off your mind!
    As a fellow novel racer, I read a post recently in which you said you’d be happy to advise people about agents and things.
    I was wondering if we could have a quick email/ chat. Got a rather pressing question…
    My email address is
    Hope you can help!
    Jude x

  5. Just want to thank you for your kind and very helpful comments on the Novel Racers today (Sept 14th).

    I’d love to read the Accidental Mother.

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