I’ve just flicked back to read my earlier posts on this blog and have discovered just how cyclical my life is. It may not be governed by the moon, by seasons or by school terms, at least not entirely, but my emotions are as predictable as all three. The New Year always brings determination to work harder, smarter and more lucratively with grand schemes for impossible daily word counts, Carthusian discipline and focused commercialism.

This lasts until my first encounter with a new idea…

The first encounter with a new idea. Well this is obviously the One I’ve been waiting for, the one to put my name on the map, on shortlists and best seller lists and in the review section of all significant magazines, newspapers and blogs. It doesn’t matter that it looks on the surface like an uncommercial idea because no one knows what sells and publishers are always chasing the last big thing: they don’t really know anything. We writers are the innovators and we have to follow our guts.This lasts until chapter seven…

Chapter seven is like wading through a blocked sewer, the rats are gnawing at my confidence and I am beginning to believe my whole story stinks. The concept is rubbish, the writing uninvolving, the end too far away to contemplate. I start looking for jobs in the paper and online. I’m sure I’d be a really good communication director of a FTSE one hundred company, brain surgery can’t be that hard can it? Or, failing that, Waitrose pays double on Sundays. This gloom lasts pretty well until the end of the book…

The end of the book. Well, it needs a bit of fixing but it isn’t all bad. I mean it probably won’t win any prizes, but my kids like it and I almost enjoyed reading it through apart from the typos obviously and the slightly dodgy bit in the middle I’ll fix in edit. Actually I’m not bad at this. No, not half bad.This confidence lasts until publication….

At publication. Um has it actually been published? Ah yes. Well at least one reviewer likes it. I knew it was never going to be a huge commercial success didn’t I? It’s a pity because it is much better than X which just topped the best seller charts and Y which won everything this year or is it?

Maybe I should have rewritten it? Maybe I should have picked a better subject/written a different book/ turned it into a script/ a picture book/ a cookery compendium? I’m in the wrong job. Why do I bother? This gloom lasts until the New Year when…

The really sad part is that I can’t help it. I don’t think I can get off this particular not-always-so-merry-go- round. I’m like some creature in a fairy tale doomed to endlessly repeat the same mistakes, but then aren’t we all?