An Escapologist’s Diary: Part 73. No Mood for Work.

We’re back from our holiday and, while my partner has leapt directly into her work, I am in NO MOOD FOR IT. I miss the sunshine and the food and the beer and the leisurely strolling. I could do some of that here in Glasgow, I suppose, but there’s work to be done and I do miss Montreal.

I’m still wearing the linen trousers and white cotton shirt with the sleeves rolled up that I bought there to keep cool, even though they should really go in the wash now. I’m keeping the vacation spirit if not alive then at least on life support.

I keep thinking “I must need my head examining for leaving Montreal in the first place” but then I remember the long winters and the difficulties I had making money there and our lack of friends in the city. Le sigh. It’s Glasgow or bust! Scotland is our ecological niche.

The printers proof of my novel was supposed to be waiting for me at home but, to my confusion, there was no sign of it. After some chasing it with the printer and the delivery company it was found by a nice man at a storage depot. At least it had not been returned to sender, but this was still an unnecessary nuisance. I had to wait another day for it to be redelivered. This book seems to be cursed.

Now that I have the proof, I’m not happy enough with it. It looks decidedly “print on demand” with too-white paper and too-narrow margins. The typeface, which looked excellent on the screen, looks weird and probably too big so I might have to reset the whole thing. I put a huge amount of thought into the typesetting and it looks great in PDF so I’m a bit confused and slightly crushed.

The point of a printers proof is to spot things you want to change before printing hundreds of copies so at least I can do something about these problems, but I wasn’t expecting the job to need so many changes. I’m finding this a tad dispiriting. The book is already over two years late and every time I say “now it’s finished” another problem crops up. It’s additionally upsetting given that the motivation (in part) for writing a novel is that it would be easier than writing non-fiction: no research or interviewees, few other parties to please, just me and my imagination in a quiet room. It didn’t turn out that way at all. I had to do two major rewrites after friends told me there were problems with it. Then I wasted two years trying to find a publisher. Then I had to produce it all myself. And now I finally have a copy in hand it still isn’t right.

Reasonably, I know that all I have to do is make a list of the required fixes and then to patiently work my way through the list. The actual changes will only take a few days. But my morale is unusually low today and I wish I was still on holiday. Oh why oh why can’t I still be on holiday?!

Don’t worry, I’ll be back on the horse tomorrow, I’m sure. Today I will read and drink coffee and wallow in my abysmal failures.


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Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at

2 Responses to “An Escapologist’s Diary: Part 73. No Mood for Work.”

  1. Ach! Typical for technology to let you down when all you want to do is be creative!

    I’m glad you’re being particular about it. I read all c.800 pages of Island of Second Sight (which is something suspect you’d enjoy if you’ve not come across it yet) but the problems were the same: too white pages, narrow margins and an odd can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-it font. It just took the edge off full enjoyment of the physical book.

    Best of luck with your efforts – I look forward to benefitting from them.


  2. Thank you! It’s an uphill struggle and I can’t possibly know yet if it’ll be worth it but I’m tackling some of the problems today. I had to Google Island of Second Sight but it looks like quite the novel.

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