Doctor Hook wrote: When your body’s had enough of me, and you’re laying flat out on the floor; when you think I’ve loved you all I can, I’m gonna love you a little bit more.’ For most of us, it’s more: When your body’s just about gotten over the fact that I pestered you for sex when you didn’t want it; when you’ve reluctantly started to self-lubricate enough, purely from the rudimentary mechanics of my unsophisticated humping, I’m going to pull a turtle face and ejaculate inside you; leaving you to cry yourself to sleep in the sticky patch, while I sleep off those ninety-six seconds of full-on exertion. What’s that got to do with writing? I hear you ask. Well, Doctor Hook wrote it, didn’t he? Do keep up.
My internet feeds are all full of Syria today. Apparently, we cannot just stand by and let these atrocities happen. We have to do something! We often do stand by and let atrocities happen. Mainly in Africa. The poor, faminey, choppy-hand-off bits of Africa, I mean. Not the rich, oily, business opportunity parts, like Libya. The other parts of Africa just get a few sacks of self-raising and a Bob Geldof song. It’s important that we do something in Syria, though. We have to bring those poor people some Democracy. The West invading Brown People Countries to bring them democracy is kind of like when a 400lb video game addict pokes a lean, healthy vegetarian in the chest and shouts ‘BUT WHERE ARE YA GETTIN’ YER PROTEIN FROM, EH? Y’ALL NEED PROTEIN TO LIVE!’
What has any of that got to do with writing? I hear you ask. Well, I wrote it, didn’t I? Do keep up. I’m halfway through the final edit of the novel. But weren’t you all the way through the final edit ages ago? Yes, but in my defence, I have no idea what I’m doing. This is my first novel, I will be well better at it next time. I will be ABSOLUTELY good at it. Right now, the main thing I am doing is adjusting the dialogue to make it flow a bit more smoothly. If you imagine your novel to be a massive, billboard sized oil painting, your dialogue is the hands and the faces. You put them in sketchily to begin with it, and now you have time to add the finer detail. That was almost a decent metaphor! Or was an analogy? We will probably never find out.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever finish this. I think that even after I’ve published it, I’ll still be rewriting it in my head, for several years. That’s what comes of being a perfectionist, and/or being not very good at writing. You have to let it go at some point. You have to cut those umbilical apron strings, and let that bird swim upstream to freedom. It might be your baby, but you need to let it blossom, to grow, to develop breasts, and need that first, awkward training bra. My book is about thirteen years old, with tender, puffy nipples and confused feelings in her gusset whenever Adam Levine comes on the TV. She’s old enough to buy cigarettes without being carded, but the thought of what a man is like ‘down there’ still terrifies her; all clammy heat, and thick-veined turgidity. Her body is saying ‘yes’, but her mind is saying ‘wait’. She’s like a genie in a bottle. You’ve got to rub her the right way. In a circular motion. On her toilet parts.