Over lunch, I chatted with half a dozen Year 10 students from the school’s very active book group. Most were keen and dedicated writers themselves, and had many good questions about publication, the craft of writing, motivation and how to form dislocated ideas into a coherent plot during the brainstorming stage.
Afterwards, I talked to two different groups taken from Years 7 and 8 in the school’s spacious, comfortable library.
Q: Is it scary to see a book you wrote in a shop?
A: No – not for me, anyway. The other customers might be a bit unnerved to see me bouncing up and down with glee.
Q: How does it feel when you’re writing?
A: It depends how it’s going. When it’s flowing well and the ideas keep coming it’s the best feeling in the world (though I do need someone to remind me to eat). When I have writer’s block, it’s depressing and frustrating. When I ‘block’ it doesn’t stop me being able to write, but I end up rewriting the same section over and over without finding something that works. When I’m near a deadline, on the other hand, I write like crazy and get through cauldrons of tea. That stage is invigorating, in a panicky sort of way…