I used to have a blog on Portobello Books - my UK publisher's - website. I loved writing it - a bit of a change from working away on a novel. With a novel you work for years before it ever meets a reader. With a blog: five paragraphs, and click! There you go: it's up there for people to read and respond to. I enjoyed the freedom of it, the flexibility. It was a delight to write.
But back then, there was just too little time. I had a job, I was working on a new book, i had two kids to feed and bath and read bedtime stories to... I just didn't post as often as I would've liked. The blog became like a neglected pen-pal. I would think of it fondly, but with a trace of guilt.
Things have changed since then. It's almost exactly a year since I decided to quit my job and write full-time. I chewed my nails a bit, over obvious issues: security, salary, what will we do if the house falls down. But then a sentence popped up my head, like the solution to a crossword puzzle: 'If I quit my job, I might come to regret it; if I don't quit the job, then I definitely will.'
It feels a bit dodgy, thinking about giving up your job when so many people are desperate to cling onto theirs. I felt very uneasy about it, but then a friend pointed out, 'You're not giving up your job. You have a job. Writing. You're just cutting down to one job instead of two. And then someone else who needs it can have your extra one.'
So I gave up the day job. And I have time for writing and sleeping and my family, which is a novelty. And the bigger kid can read bedtime stories to the littler one now. So things are looking up, time-wise. And so the plan is that this blog won't become a neglected pen-pal, but an always-pleased-to-see-it, pop-round-whenever-I-like, refreshing-change-from-writing-novels kind of a thing. That's the plan at least.