So sorry, my darlings, especially after all your kind New Year messages. But it is deadline day tomorrow, and I have been in a work storm. Apart from walking Stanley the Dog, and a very happy hour with this person -
- who was at her absolute crest and peak of sweetness and dearness and love – I have been at my desk from nine until nine. I NEVER do this. But a combination of mania and caffeine drove me on, and I seem to have written 4170 words.
My friend The Man of Letters would be horrified. He thinks one should not do more than about 800 a day. (He sends me emails saying: Hope you are not galloping too fast. Which I blithely ignore, even though he is one of the wisest men I know.) Graham Greene said 500 was the right amount. Trollope did not do word count, but simply wrote from the moment he woke until he had to go to his day job at the post office, where he was kept busy inventing the pillar box. If that time came in the very middle of a sentence, he would flintily lay down his pen and resume the next day exactly where he broke off.
Sadly I am neither Greene nor Trollope, and I am rashly dashing away with the smoothing iron. These writing fevers come on me sometimes, and at least it swells the chapter count, even though half of it shall end up as dead darlings in the second draft.
At least I am not going to do my usual thing of staying up all night before a hard deadline. Too tired from Christmas festivities for that. It’s a little Van the Man on the stereo, and a mild two more hours of editing, and then, as the old school say, Up the Stairs to Bedfordshire. (You may see how crazed I have become; I have never used that expression in my life.)