PROOF OF LIFE

Work continues on proofing and fixing The Family Of Noise - I've read this book so many times now, I'm not even sure what I think of it, but if it's finished, my job now is just to make sure that it's right. The irrepressible Zadie Smith wrote a post a couple of days ago about how to edit your own work, so if you're in the same boat, it's very much worth a read. For my part, I can't do any of this as a manuscript and that's likely because of the other thing I do all day long. I would venture that most authors will load up their printer, return to it every half hour or so to reload paper and eventually kick back feeling very satisfied at the big stack of paper in front of them. Things around here work a little differently.

I totally agree with Zadie about seeing yourself as the reader and not the author with you book, but for me to do that, it's simpler to actually produce a single proofing copy of what would be the final product. In this instance, this is proof number two: 

Extreme perhaps but it works for me on a grand scale. Chewing through something that looks and feels like a final product a reader would be paying for quite focusses the mind - nobody wants their inadequacies falling into the hands of the public.

So, today's job is making these 270-odd pages of amendments and reprint again for a final sweep by three other people who have never seen it before - which is also the time when I need to nail down the back cover and filter that information into its page at the Bad Hare store. It may seem long winded, but I like doing it this way. It feels very real, like you've had more than a hand in every single page.

Why this is important to me, I don't know. If somebody gave me fifty grand, maybe I would care a little less. Now there's something I'd love to put to the test. 

Coffee would be on me. All night long.

•••

Also on the table right now is a sweeping re-arrangement of travel plans for the rest of the year and the part of doing this myself that I always struggle with - promotion. Somewhere out there, I'm sure there are people that do this as a job with their hands tied behind their back and never break a sweat. I need to find myself one of these people and draft them into the inner sanctum... and then arm them with fireworks and chocolate. Back in the days of brandishing a microphone and a guitar, I was good at such things. I don't know what changed - maybe it was the 'gang' mentality of there being four of us. 

Anyway - if there's travel on the cards, that also means there are opportunities I ought to be engineering. Time to crack open a calendar and see what gives.

•••

Meanwhile, Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds have a new album out this week and it's more than damn good. A real singer/songwriter album and there ain't many of them about these days.

Class. On a stick.

Sion Smith