The joy of the blank page

Woburn Square, Bloomsbury

Woburn Square, Bloomsbury

I’m starting work on a new novel. Well, ‘work’ is pushing it a bit. I’ve had an idea for a new novel, and I’m playing around with characters, plots, locations. This involves a lot of sitting with a pencil and a notebook, staring out of the window and day-dreaming. I’ve also been wandering around Bloomsbury, imagining my characters walking alongside me, holding pretend conversations with them in Woburn Square. I probably look a bit crazed.

It feels like the first day of a holiday, or that moment when you wake up on a Sunday without any plans. I’m not committed to anything, which means anything is possible. It’s too early to put anything down in writing, so I haven’t besmirched my lovely, vague ideas with clumsy words. The potential of this novel is shimmering like a heat haze over the sea, dazzling me with what it might become.

It’s bliss. It’ll go on being bliss right up until I start writing, I suspect. But when I sink in a plot hole, or tearfully discard the first 10,000 words, or realise I’ve written myself into a corner, or simply can’t bear to think about the damn thing any more, I’ll remember this moment. The good part, just before the writing begins.

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