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Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

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The hardest thing I ever wrote…

May 25, 2011 | content | 0 comments

One of the hardest posts I’ve ever written (to date)

This is one of those rare posts I’m going to cross post. If you think that people you know will want to see this (for example, you know that someone won’t see it otherwise) please share it.

Four months ago, I chose to start working on the final elements of Glass Block. Knowing that I should be graduating sometime at the beginning of May, and feeling pretty confident that my dissertation could be written with relative ease (my average day right now is 6k of non fiction – it’s not difficult and it’s all highly lauded work – I then go off and fight with my fiction for a bit). I’ve often described what I do as unearthing something rather than writing – I feel like an archaeologist in my own head sometimes rather than a writer.
What’s wrose about this right now is that it’s the longest standing semi-intimate relationship I’ve ever had. I don’t vewi writing as creating a somehow being pregnant and delivering, but there is something about the characters being there, even when others aren’t. Elliot has been my constant companion for close to eight years now. He started as an idea in the bath just after I split from my ex, and grew into someone who inhabits a whole universe in my head. He and Farran, another lead ‘actor’ in my novels hang out *together* in what I fondly refer to as ‘the green room in my head’  and they talk.  They actually have conversations.  Sometimes Farran slips and forgets he’s talking to a policeman and starts talking stuff that leaves Elliot in a state of consternation, but so far, they get on quite well.

But lately, Elliot’s been a bit distant.  I’m not sure if he’s got worse stage fright than me, or if it’s the medication (I’m bipolar for those that don’t know) and he thinks he needs to shut up a bit, but editing isn’t the same without him.  On top of that, like I’ve already said, I work full-time, and then, when that’s done, I go off and write.  And there aren’t enough hours in the day.  After being awake for the third night in a row and switching between my dissertation and Elliot’s stuff while waiting for the server to come up, till 3am, I decided, with a very heavy heart that I have to postpone this.
I don’t normally talk much about some of the people I know through my work, but one of them, who for the sake of argument is called Adi , told me it goes something like this and that I shouldn’t feel so bad.

“You’re this great actress and everyone knows it, but so far all you’ve done is give back to the community and lurk.  You’ve never had a role big enough to be credited, which makes us, your fans, a bit annoyed.  So when we hear that you’re headlining on Broadway, we cheer.

Two weeks ago you announce you had laryngitis.  Ok we think, this is it, it’s going to be postponed, and we’re sad, but we know it’s not your fault.  THAT was your computer crash.  You soldier on.  rehearsals every day until your throat is raw and you’re quiet .

Today, at two weeks to go, you announce that you’re having to go do something massive – that’s your dissertation  – and you can’t do it.  We already know you’ve fought through illness.  Those of us that are real fans know that it’s not your fault, and we’ll wait.  Sometimes things just get delayed.”  Adi

Everyone’s been telling me roughly the same thing since I floated the idea of postponing.  I’m not happy about it, and everyone that knows me really well will know that I’m worried about letting people down, but I had plans for the project and they’ve slipped, one by one.

So I’m begging indulgence and encouragement – could you wait a few more months?

Kai’s book, Glass Block, is due out on June 4th.

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