A flask of coffee, a tin of biscuits, my glasses and my laptop. The troops are assembled on my desk for today’s edit-battle. The feedback I’ve received from the consultant (I used London-based The Literary Consultancy), is to not change too much; just add few bits of clarifying background, and change the title of the book. To what? She didn’t tell me. Something that introduces the arc of the story. Like a child, I want to say ‘YOU come up with one then.’
More coffee. My heart’s not used to this and starts to race while I read about tensions with Iran and within the Windsor’s. The latter offers some well-needed but addictive respite from the former, and from the tasks ahead.
I look at my book. Printed out before me (double-sided, two-paged landscape, to save the paper), and on screen, it’s like the lake it’s set by: vast and calm and untouched. Change it, but not too much. If I dive into it, I’m worried I’ll make a splash so big it will ripple and change the whole book. If I only dip my toe, it might not make a difference.
But I love to swim, once I’m in it. All the worries of the shore – what if it’s cold, what if it’s wet, what if I regret it – are always washed away once I dive in. I remind myself of this, and treat myself to some kind facts: I’m a good diver. I know how to not make too big of a splash. And according to this consultant, I’m apparently a pretty good writer too. Even if I don’t trust it myself, I can trust her for now and believe that I’m able to make the changes she asked for.
I force myself off social media and brace myself for impact.