By Tania Carver
Well here it is. My final piece on Murderati.
It’s nearly a year since David asked whether I’d be interested in contributing to the site. Naturally I said yes. How hard can it be? A piece every fortnight and the occasional Wild Card Tuesday? Sure. Dead easy.
Not exactly. It’s been hard work. Much harder than I thought it would be. Boo hoo you, I hear you say. It’s not exactly digging ditches. Well, yes, I know. I mean, I’m a writer, it’s what I do. But sitting down every other week to write something when there wasn’t necessarily anything in my head has been on the one hand a great experience and very helpful for getting me to sit at a desk and write something. Anything. But on the other hand it’s been very scary. Like stepping out on to a tightrope and not knowing if you’re going to make it to the end.
Yes, I could have written anything. I could have let my quality control slip and churn stuff out. Plenty of other people do it (Not on here, though). Well, actually, I couldn’t. No. If it’s got my name attached (or Tania’s) then I couldn’t do that. If someone’s going to read it, then I’d better make it good. That’s been my mantra on every piece of writing I’ve ever done and I’m not going to stop now. No. What actually happened – usually – was that the writing took over. I would start with one thought in my head (or sometimes none) and start writing. And then the process would take over. And I would go with it. Be carried along. Sometimes I didn’t know where it would end up, what I was trying to say. Sometimes I would have to research what I was sayin gto make sure I wasn’t spounting rubbish (every chance), sometimes I just went with it. I would trust what I was doing, trust that the words would come out right, that it would be something worth reading at the end, something interesting. I don’t know if I always did that. I hope I did. I hope people got something from what I wrote.
A director I once worked with when I was still acting always said that theatre should make you laugh, cry and think. Obviously not always in that order but those were the three main ingredients. Put them in, mix them up in the right proportions, you’ll get something halfway decent at the end. That’s been the rule of thumb for me here too. I have no idea whether I succeeded, but I gave it my best shot.
So why am I giving this up? Work. My workload seems to have trebled this year and I just couldn’t keep up. I’m not complaining, mind, I’m very grateful. It’s a privilaged and honoured position to be in. And a rare one for a freelance writer. I’ve got two books coming out this year, the next Tania, The Doll’s House, in September in the UK. Then in November is my sequel to Susan Hill’s The Woman In Black. Then it’s straight on with the next Tania, tentatively entitled The First Day Dead (although that may be subject to change, as these things often are). I’ve also got another project on the go that I can’t talk about yet (Mainly because I doubt too many people will be interested). So with all this going on, something had to give, I’m afraid.
So off I go into the deadline-heavy sunset. There’s a strong tradition on this site with some of the best writers currently being published writing on here. I’ve been in fantastic company here on Murderati. Not just some of my favourite writers, but some of my favourite people in crime fiction. I mean that. I’m very proud and honoured to have been part of the line up.
But . . .
Sometimes endings have to happen. Even if it’s just so that things can start again.
Thanks for putting up with me. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.