10 ways to recognise you have been writing a long time

Today, not at all linked to the fact that I am in Cornwall and the allure of cliffs and beaches outweighs that of screens and keyboards, brevity is the order of the day. In a moment some news, but first, a list. Here are the Ten Things that made me realise I have been doing exactly what I am doing now (ie sitting down and hitting keys aggressively to make them, poor subjugated serfs, churn out words) for a long, long while…

top ten

  1. Your friends stop asking when the book is coming out.

  3. You sometimes mistake characters in books you’ve written for real people (honestly. ‘Someone I knew once… oh. Hang on. It was someone… um… in a book’. Embarrassing enough even without revealing that you wrote the book).

  5. On the back of the scrap paper you use for shopping lists are early drafts of novels you can’t remember writing.

  7. Your friends start asking when it is coming out again.

  9. Your agent is very excited about the book.

  11. In your daydream of winning the Booker you have a longer and longer acceptance speech (it’s all good, mind. Punchy and incisive, consistently, for an hour or more).

  13. Your agent becomes very hard to reach by phone.

  15. In your daydream of telling your employer you are quitting to become a writer your boss starts weeping as he or she begs you not to leave.

  17. Agents and publishers become interested again.

  19. Thanks to the fine people at the inventive and splendid Xelsion, you publish! There’ll be a party and everything. Yet for some reason sitting on the train you know you may sometimes see people reading books by other people. Really, after all that effort, you think every person in the English-speaking world would have the decency to have the book stapled to their left hands, at the very least…


That concluded, the news in pictures: tiny books on a kitchen table! This was the Day the Cover Was Very Nearly Chosen. Soon we will have the finalised design in our hands, whereupon I will of course put it into your hands.

cover designs

That’s all for now. Until the next time: here’s to the glitter in the gloaming of the moon on the sea…

moon sea


This blog will be published weekly or thereabouts. Explore the links above for more about Will le Fleming and his writing.

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Will le Fleming is a novelist. His debut, Central Reservation, is published by Xelsion and available now. Read more...

On a grey Thursday morning Holly lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, and wished her sister would die. Five hours later her wish came true. Read more...

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