By Jessica Duchen

The mystery of Beethoven's lost love – Immortal Beloved.

Friday, 27 September 2019


Dear friends and supporters,

Happy Friday, and thank you again for all your pledges, messages and enthusiasm for IMMORTAL. We are 80% of the way towards the funding now - hooray! A reminder that until the end of Sunday 29 September there's a special offer of a 10% discount on pledges up to £100 (on this and other Unbound projects that are over 75% towards toward target) to help get the book "over the line", so do please share the info if you can to encourage friends to join our Immortal family now. Use the code OVER75 at checkout.

So, here we are in late September and I have written 86,000 words. The entire book was supposed to be 80,000, but I am only about 3/5 of the way through the story.

This is the point at which the term "going swimmingly" acquires new meaning. Imagine you're splashing across a big German mountain lake (like the one pictured above, perhaps - underneath Neuschwanstein Castle, visible on the distant hillside). You love it in the cool, clear water, which holds you up with its depth and purity. You're determined to get to the other side, where someone is waiting for you with a towel and ice-cream. It's a long way across. You reach the middle and there are mountains as far as the eye can see when not full of lakewater. It has already taken ages and you're out of breath. It would take as long to go back, and need as much lung capacity, and would seem a waste of time (you'd miss the ice-cream, apart from anything else), but it's equally far to the other shore. Do you have the physical capacity to get there? Isn't it a lot further than you thought? (Yes.) How are you going to manage it?

The only thing to do, as far as I can tell, is pace yourself. Go at a speed that won't wear you out. Make sure your breathing is coordinated with your movements. Break it down into manageable sections with suitable landmarks; each is then easier to achieve. Be a tortoise, not a hare. As you have a self-imposed deadline, this isn't easy, but it is quite important - go too fast and you'll set yourself up with all sorts of problems later on. 

Therefore, this is how my to-do list looks now:

Write, write, write; cut, cut, cut (this is much harder than the writing); check, check, flippin'well check; get rid of adjectives and replace with detail, detail, detail; and keep going, if only a few paragraphs at a time. This is tricky, because I tend to plunge in carry on all day - and then can't find my way home from 1810. 

With your support, though, I can do this. Because you believe in me and this book, I can more easily believe in myself. And I certainly believe in Beethoven.

Thank you a thousand times.

Love and best wishes,

Jessica x


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