It’s great having two hats. And it amuses me how different they are. The harping hat is flamboyant and fluttery whereas the writing hat is tighter on the skull, resembling more your traditional thinking cap.
(Image is courtesy of Pixabay this time because my actual, literal hats aren't quite right. The clouds seemed appropriate somehow...)
Recently I’ve been wearing my writing hat for long hours whilst my harping hat has only made brief appearances out. This is inevitable when deadlines loom. I’ve been tied to the desk because I’ve needed to get book 2 to somebody pronto. Not in its final form, thank goodness (oh no, that will take a good many more drafts) but in a form that I’m not so ashamed of that I want to run away to sea and never ever be seen again. It has taken me some time and effort to reach the not-running-away-to-sea stage. The novel contains a lot of characters and back-stories and exposition and it was all in a grand old muddle. And that was even before I got to the bit about the penguins... However, I’ve managed to pull it into some sort of shape and I do actually like it now. It’s very quirky, but then so was book 1 and they’re going ahead with publishing that, so I’m trying not to worry.
I’ve also been wearing my writing hat to tackle the glut of emails that’s come my way. Suddenly there have been all sorts of pressing matters to do with publication: an article for Writing Magazine, a bookshop tour to sort with my publicist, a decision about the American cover design of Ellie and The Harp-maker and a book launch in the offing. All good stuff. I’m almost beginning to feel like a real author! But what of the poor old harp?
Happily there haven’t been any performances to worry about during the intense bookish time. I’ve just enjoyed a couple of lovely unpressurised practice days with Foxwillow Trio and The Hummingbirds and done some teaching. Several solo harp bookings have come in. This is nice, because now I need a break from the writing to let my thoughts settle. In fact it's essential to put a little distance between myself and book 2 before I go back to it for the next round of edits. I'm not going to be twiddling my thumbs, though. I'm really missing my harping hat. It's time to put it back on for a while.
It does sometimes seem as though I'm juggling with hats. But I've realised I rather like juggling. Both my hats are well-loved. They may be a little eccentric but they fit me perfectly.