I'm at the editing stage of my latest work in progress. Surely this has to be the most trying and difficult part of writing a book. It's when I feel I'm completely on my own - and I feel a little bit lonely. I start to read it through, feel quite pleased with how it's all going, and then the doubts start to creep in. That part doesn't feel quite right - I remember when I was writing it that I thought I'd written something memorable, but no, it's reading like a pile of pants as my youngest might say. OK, I think that's better - then the next chapter doesn't seem to work. Lizzy, would you really have said that? And Darcy, have I painted you a little too grave? Time for a coffee, I think, and didn't I promise to phone someone? I waste an hour or two with important jobs that I convince myself couldn't possibly be done at any other time before I sit down to work again. I'm in a ruthless mood! I start slashing away cutting out large chunks of text, hours of work that once seemed so right. There's something wrong with the timeline and I suddenly realise that one event couldn't possibly have happened. What I thought was careful planning and plotting has gone completely awry! This is when I start to write lists going over and over my notes and wondering how I'm going to resolve everything. It's all going so horribly wrong. Back to the typescript - oh yes, I like this part, I'm happy, not even a pen mark on the next twenty pages. And, I wouldn't admit it to everybody, but I actually laugh out loud at that bit - yes, I'm on a roll!!! Reward myself with a fat bar of chocolate. So the first hurdles were just a blip, I think, until I come to a bit of sticky re-writing that I just don't want to do. Hold my head in my hands. The sun's over the yard arm - a glass of wine will help, I'm positive - mmm, yes, lovely, things definitely don't seem quite as bad now. I've done it at last, I'm satisfied it says what I want, but then, is it now too long? Could I cut it back a little? I'm reading again, nearly there, just another fifty pages and I'm finished - well, before I bring it out and start all over again!