It’s that time of the years again. This time exactly two years ago I was sitting in my East Dulwich flat, hacking away at the manuscript for Bringing Nothing. I just looked back at the version from December 15th – near enough this point – and the document was a little over 25,000 words in weight. Which meant I still had around 75,000 words still to go before my 31st December deadline. 4,700 a day, near enough.
Of course I didn’t make it – the final manuscript landed on my publisher’s desk in the second week of January – but as authors and deadlines go, I didn’t do too badly.
Two years later, and the situation is not dissimilar. Slightly fewer words left to write, but due to ridiculous post-Christmas commitments, slightly fewer days in which to write them. So to all intents and purposes, the 4-5,000 word limit a day stands – although this time around that comes on top of the words I have to write for my two TechCrunch things.
The result: deadline hell. I’m locked away in a hotel room somewhere north of London, nudging against the outside edge of total blind panic, surrounded by empty coffee cups and Diet Coke cans, and threatening to kill anyone who comes within ten feet of me. I have notepads full of dates and places at my feet and two stacks of hotel room keycards acting as a makeshift speaker-stands. I’ve got a thousand pens but I can’t fucking find one when I need one.
Oh, and I’m multi-tasking; listening to Eric Lewis‘ forthcoming album on repeat ahead of my next gig – writing the liner notes for it. If I remember correctly, the last book was written to a Last.fm soundtrack of Nellie McKay and Kate Nash – this time it’s ELEWW thrashing out Mr Brightside and Sweet Home Alabama. I feel like I’ve grown as a person.
Anyway. It’ll be fine. It’s always fine. The words somehow come and the jokes somehow work and somehow the whole thing becomes a book and people say how lucky I am to have such a fun job – writing about myself once every two years – and somehow I manage not to punch them in the face and the world keeps on turning.
Meantime, in a strange piece of serendipity, the new paperback edition of Bringing Nothing has just been published, complete with an exciting new cover and the correct spelling of Emily’s name in the chapter about the dlido spacehopper and the threesome.
Orion has sent me 20 free “authors’ copies” as per my contract, which is great – except that there’s no way they’re all going to fit into my hand-luggage. And I’ve already read it. So I feel like I should do a competition or something to give them away. The problem is I’m too fucked with this deadline to figure out anything clever. Any ideas? Email me or do a Twitter thing.Or I suppose you could always just buy the thing.
Ok, more coffee. More words. More tomorrow…