Friday 11 November 2011


I’m a professional writer. Not the sort of professional writer I once aspired to be, but a copywriter. I don’t have an issue with copywriting. I know where I stand when compared with novelists, journalists, ghostwriters, travel writers and, when it comes down to it, other copywriters. I write e-newsletters and web copy. That’s my thing. In reality I would write anything I was paid to write, but as it stands that’s all I’m getting paid to write.

The situation suits me. I can work from home most days of the week, which means I’m working on the edge of a reserve on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

Like most other people I know who make sense out of piles of unsorted words for a living I have a book, actually books. Most of my spare time goes into however many of my books I’m working on at any given time. There are a few books. One of them is nearly finished and has been dominating my life for the last sixteen months. People have been asking me how close I am to finishing for a full year, and I’ve been telling them that I am very close for the duration. It’s not that I’m lying to all of the people that I know, and some strangers at parties. This is what I have honestly believed. I have honestly believed this since November of last year. In my defence, at this time last year I was convinced the tome in question would be about forty-five thousand words, of which I had written forty-three. Every time I looked at it, or anything else for that matter, the story grew an extra character, or new sub-plot, or tentacles.

The Book, if there had to be only one, is longer now than it was, but I don’t feel any closer. I feel like Sisyphus with words. Leonardo da Vinci said you don’t finish art you abandon it. That’s what it’s like with books. My book needs to stop growing so I can finish it before I leave it on someone’s doorstep. In reality I need to stop making decisions about the book.

Right now it’s staring at me.

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