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I’m so glad I took on this ‘impossible’ challenge.

The challenge was impossible. There was no conceivable way I could complete the task I had been handed – and yet I found myself nodding in agreement. Even as I squeaked the words: “No problem!” a voice inside my head was laughing and shouting: “No way!”

I had five months to write a book. My deadline: Friday 3 March.

My other novels had taken around eight months of hard slog each. I’d thought that was quite speedy. At the end of each one, exhausted, I took a fortnight off, then devoted several months to promoting the books full-time, before returning to the keyboard.

So the challenge of writing a book in five months really was impossible.

Of course, I know plenty of authors who can do just that with ease. But I’m not one of them, sadly.

Yesterday, the day of my deadline arrived. I was full of nerves as I wrote an email to my agent, Jane, and my editor, Keshini. What on earth would their reaction be when they saw it? What should I say? How could I explain?

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My fingers hovered over the keyboard, waiting for divine inspiration – or possibly just for my brain to kick in. Finally, I started to type.

How are you? I hope you have a lovely weekend planned!

I’ve attached my manuscript for you both. This is quite a scary moment! I really hope you enjoy it…

I’d done it! I’d actually managed to write a book in five months!

Looking back, it’s all a bit of a blur. There have been plenty of days when I’ve started typing at 7am, still in bed, and not finished until late at night. Days when I’ve barely had time to get dressed. Nights when I’ve woken full of fear about that damn deadline, switched the laptop on, and got to work even though it’s the small hours.

Seeing those two words: THE END sitting at the bottom of my manuscript made it all worthwhile. When I typed them, I called my partner into the room so he could share the moment – because without his support I couldn’t have done this. He’s taken over the cooking, keeps me in an endless supply of fruit tea, and has listened to me when I’ve felt low.

So now I’ve sent my manuscript off, I’m going to spend a well-earned weekend off (a whole weekend! I haven’t had one of those in months!) relaxing with my partner – and wait nervously for my editor to tell me her thoughts on my writing…! But no matter what  happens, I’m so glad I took on this ‘impossible’ challenge.

 

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