It is day one of 2018 and I am writing my second book.
There, I've said it. So now I have to do it.
My first book, Confessions of a Tinderella, came out in May 2015, which makes me the old timer here at Riff Raff Towers. Amy and I spend our days immersed in the very latest books, because our mission is to promote first-time authors and support aspiring writers. Confessions... wouldn't make it past the first hurdle. But three years on and I am wiser, older and certainly more wrinkled, and my second book will be all the better for it.
Amy is also writing her second book. She has flown all the way to Australia to do so and I can picture her now: shades on, legs up, pen and notebook in one hand and cocktail in the other.
My surroundings are slightly less exotic: I am writing this in my office, which is next to a concrete factory, and is currently empty save for the elderly, Polish gentleman who occupies a desk on a near 24/7 basis. I do not think he enjoyed my Spotify singalong while I was Blu-Tacking inspirational postcards to my wall.
But it doesn't matter where you write (right?) as long as you are getting words on the page.
It was inevitable that Amy and I would begin our second books in 2018. The Riff Raff has proved so consistently inspiring, so outrageously encouraging, that we couldn't not start writing. From the My First Time interviews to The Riff Raff Podcast to our monthly writers' event, we feel like we have taken a crash-MA in How to Write a Brilliant Book. Genuinely, we have accrued the kind of tips and advice that one usually pays thousands to obtain. Take a stroll through our archives – there is gold in them there hills.
Let's face it: 2017 hit some potholes. Trump. Terrorism. Brexit. Did I mention Trump? Which means that, firstly, 2018 can only get better (...right?) and, secondly, that words are more important than ever.
The way we consume words may be changing – from hardback to paperback, to digital, to minimal, to nominal; from 140 characters to 280 to infinity and beyond – but communication is the only way forward. We must use words to challenge, and to chivvy. We must use them to offer support and to sanction. We use words to care and create and decry. Whether you write them in a book or in a Tweet or on a banner or ink them into your skin, your words matter and in this shouty-crackers world, the trick is finding the time to bring them to life.
So here's my plan: write a page a day.
I am going to write one page a day, which means that by the 31st December, 2018, I will have 365 pages of a second book. They might be rubbish but they will exist, and there will be 365 more pages than I have right now.
Look out for the hashtag #apageaday on our social media – I have a feeling it will crop up from time to time. Amy and I shall keep you up to date on our progress and we would love to hear your comments, ideas and feedback.
We would be right ruddy thrilled if you decided to write along with us – then we could keep in touch about how you are getting on, offer encouragement, maybe meet up for coffee. OK, coffee might be too much. But how insanely awesome will you feel on New Year's Eve 2018 with a belly load of Prosecco and a first draft in your hand?
I'm signing off to write page one of book two on the first day of 2018. Fresh start. Blank page. I can't wait to see what will come.