It’s my great pleasure today to welcome Georgia Rose to Linda’s Book Bag. Georgia Rose is the author of The Grayson Trilogy of books, A Single Step, Before The Dawn and Thicker Than Water.
Georgia’s background in countryside living, riding, instructing and working with horses has provided the knowledge needed for some of her storylines; the others are a product of her overactive imagination!
Following a long stint working in the law Georgia set up her own business providing administration services for other companies which she does to this day managing to entwine that work along with her writing.
Her busy life is set in a tranquil part of rural Cambridgeshire where she lives with her much neglected family of a husband, two grown up children and two dogs.
Today I’m delighted to host a guest post from Georgia Rose – all about the virtue of patience for a writer!
Patience is a Virtue
Patience is a virtue. I was told this as a child, over and over again I seem to remember, which leads me to believe that it wasn’t a virtue I possessed.
I recall as a teenager there being an urge in me, as strong as any narcotic coursing through my veins, to get on. With what I wasn’t quite sure but I couldn’t wait to leave school and do whatever it was I was going to do with my life. I counted the days, hours and, with blessed relief, finally the minutes until I was at last free to leave and I can remember that feeling of exhilaration as clearly as if it were yesterday when I walked out of those gates with not so much as a backward glance.
I had such hopes, such ambitions for doing something big but I have as little idea now as I did back then about what this big thing was going to be because although filled with boundless energy I was missing that one vital ingredient, direction. I have always envied people who know what they want, who have a career plan. You see I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do, or what my end goal was so it was tricky to plan steps along a pathway that was shrouded in mist. I’m sure I’m not alone in experiencing this but I find that while I can be absolutely driven with what I’m currently doing the bigger picture, the thing that I’m meant to aim for, has always remained a mystery, an elusive something out there beyond the hazy veil that guards the future.
Why is ‘patience’ a virtue? Why can’t ‘hurry the **** up’ be a virtue?
When I was a young woman I found I flitted from one thing to another, different activities were taken on with wild enthusiasm and then abandoned with such disinterest after a few months that I was seriously worried when the time came to a) get married, and b) have children. I was concerned that my lack of ability to stick at anything for very long was going to be seriously challenged by these two momentous and life changing happenings. Particularly the children bit, I mean it’s not as if you can put them back when you’ve had enough is it? I’d been through the guinea pig phase; I knew how interest could wane.
As it turns out I’m still happily married and my children have grown up into remarkable people that surprise and delight me every day so I have managed to stick at something. I suspect that this is what big means for me, nothing momentous that will go down in the history books, nothing that bears a plaque with my name on it but just normal stuff which is all good. I guess I settled down somewhere along the way as well and by necessity (children…say no more) learnt to have patience too.
At least that was what I thought until four years ago when I decided I might try my hand at writing something and found out that this business is all about having patience. In the first place it takes a long time to write a book – even if you are the sort of writer who gets down a decent word count of a few thousand a day, which I am not. I have found that once I have the idea I just want it written, right there, right then and it takes a lot to hold that in I can tell you.
I wish there was some way of just plucking the thoughts from my head and transforming them into words on the page without the annoyance of the typing process interrupting because everything that sounded so eloquent when it was in my head is never the same once it’s been mashed and mangled by the keystrokes into some muddle on the page. Imagine the joy of coming to look at your manuscript and finding all your perfect thoughts there ready and waiting for you.
I have always daydreamed (see last sentence for details!) and I had little bits of story bouncing around in my head for what seems like forever but in 2012 something clicked and the pieces came together to make one big whole. Thrilled, but at the same time terrified that I would forget the detail my head was filled with before I got to write it I was taken over by the same, if not higher, level of passion that I’d had when I was much younger. I was so desperate to get this first story down that it honestly felt like I was on something. I couldn’t sleep, I ate on the run and in the three months it took me to write the first draft I lost a glorious amount of weight (bonus!).
And then came the hard part, the not putting stuff off part. The part where I was going to have to knuckle down and call upon all of my reserves of patience to get on with to the seemingly endless editing, rewriting, editing cycle that followed. As well as all the other stuff – the book covers, the formatting, the proofing – and that’s before you ever even hit the publish button and then have to face the dreaded prospect of…I’ll whisper it…marketing.
It is very easy at this point to procrastinate, to do anything but what you are meant to be doing if you are ever going to succeed and finish the book. You often hear of authors who have put their novel aside for years before finally getting back to it. I’m sure that often there are very good reasons but I’m equally sure that sometimes it’s simply because they are delaying action. You have to keep going even if it feels like you are wading through treacle as you plod through the editing process – some forward movement is better than none as any takes you that little bit closer to completion.
It took me another year to finish the first one. The frustration at having to do other things, like the day job, you know the one that actually pays the bills, can be irritating. But patience is all about the ability to accept delay, trouble or suffering without becoming angry or upset and I’m working on my attitude to try and give myself the time I need to do everything better next time around.
This time as I start again, a start I suspect will sadly be unaccompanied by the adrenaline boosting weight loss achieved that first time around I’m hoping I’ve got a more balanced work life system in place to manage everything more successfully, which brings me on to this.
Because things have changed. Where once I was counting down the minutes, unbelievably wishing away time – what do the young know! Now I want to hang on to every day, ‘fill the unforgiving minute’ to quote Kipling so this is where my frustration currently lies. There is so much to do but the damned clock seems to spin ever faster, the days flying past as I patiently sit, tapping away, the word count slowly rising.
There are lots of ways to buy The Grayson Trilogy Books