Back when I was er. somewhat younger and worked in book publishing for a couple of years, I found it quite hard to focus on my own writing. When I read other people’s books all day (and often into the evening), I didn’t have much creative energy left for my own. So when a move across the country beckoned, it didn’t seem so bad that I had to step away from book publishing and head into the world of magazines instead. Plus I love playing with words, whatever the format they come in.

But I did miss it. So it was nice to start doing some bookish freelance work recently for another company (not going to name them here in case they’d rather I didn’t).

I’m writing blurbs (or you might call it back cover copy if you call author quotes, blurbs) and it should be really good practice for the next time I’ve got a a book to query agents with. I hope.

Somehow it’s much easier to sink my hooks into someone else’s work than my own. Probably because I’m more detached and can look at the manuscript for what it actually is, whereas with my own work I’m all mixed up with the vision of what I wanted it to be (and sometimes there can be quite a chasm of difference).

I sit there, looking at my copious notes, wondering how the hell I’m going to pull it altogether for a 150-word blurb that’s supposed to entice the reader, introduce the story and set the tone. For hours it’s like wandering in the dark. I’m not going to get out. I can’t do it. How the hell does anyone turn 100k of words into a couple of paragraphs?

But from out the darkness, comes the first sentence. And once you’ve got that the words start to come together.

It’s a beautiful thing.