Don't tell anyone but I'm currently seeing four different stories. They don't know about each other and two are even related!
What can I say, since I separated from my last (and first) serious story, I've found it hard to move on. We went steady on and off for five years but we came to a natural end and both decided we needed to take time apart. The story is currently seeing a publisher and I'm... I guess I'm waiting to see where we go from here.
I don't want to seem too desperate though, hence my seeing other stories. It's weird and scary and completely daunting.
I hadn't realised how strong a relationship I had built with my novel, how well I knew the quirks of each character, how nice it was to settle into the familiarity of the story, the places, the style and flow. It was home, in my imagination and on the screen.
Now I'm a jumble of nerves, trying too hard with the new stories, forcing a deeper connection before it's really there. It took time for my last story to develop and I'm realising I need to allow the new stories the same respect.
I thought I could just decide, pick a suitable story and start writing but I'm not ready to commit. So for now I'm playing the field, dropping in on each story when the time feels right and trusting it will all work out.
But shhhh, please don't tell them, I have a feeling they might be rather jealous and that would be a whole other story!
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about women who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.