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Perched up here, 120 feet up above the ground, you get a great view of Edinburgh to the west and north. The picture below is what I look out on from where I sit writing and listening to huge piles of vinyl albums every day, whilst drinking coffee and eating bacon. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
This was brought home to me this week when I finished the first draft of my next Nick Guymer novel, King Tees and began totalling up how many hours I'd spent on it.
It was started in early July but I took August off to work on the Fosters Comedy Awards Panel and didn't get anything written at all. That made it hard to pick up the reins in September and generally slowed the whole process down.
Normally, it takes me 350-400 hours of writing to create a novel, but this time it's taken over 500 and that's just because of losing my routine in August. It's not just time off, per se, that slows you down, rather, it means your head goes into a different space and so when I had to pick up the novel again, I was restless and couldn't settle to it at all, working in hour-long bursts rather than my more usual 6-8 hour sessions.
Anyway, it's done and is now in the hands of Robert, my editor, who will begin the process of correcting the mistakes and advising on the bits that aren't right. I'll do a rewrite once he's had a good look at it, then we'll do that all over again, Janet will proof read it and hopefully put it to bed in December.
This is the 11th novel I've written in 35 months. Which is, by any standards, prolific. Indeed, I think I'm the most prolific novelist in Britain, right now. I know critics would like to think the amount I produce, in the time I produce it, means they're lightweight rubbish, or basically all the same book. Sadly for those cynics, I have thousands of my readers who would disagree. What is often misunderstood is that I've just produced a lot of books quickly through long, hard work, doing 12 hours most days and never less than 8. I don't have holidays or weekend's off. I work all the time and If you work your arse off, frankly, you get a lot done. It's no more complicated than that. Obviously, you also need to have good, interesting ideas for stories, but that, to me, is the easiest part. Once you reach the age of 54 you've lived a lot of years and have much life capital to draw down.
So for a week or two, I'll have a break from novel writing and then I'll set off again on another adventure of the mind, inspired by rock music, coffee and bacon and by this view too, of course.