By Rose Cartwright

A tragicomic memoir about intrusive sexual thoughts

Friday, 6 March 2015

Done it

Hello all. 

Sorry for the radio silence. I’ve just handed in my final manuscript, and the preceding six weeks were a wild-eyed blur of grubby tracksuit bottoms and matted hair and pasta-and-butter. But it’s done now.

Here are the vital statistics:

62,000 words
200 pages
46 chapters
6 Neighbours references
1 vaginaface

A few people have asked when the thing’s going to be published. The date’s set for September, which I appreciate is a boringly long time, but there’s still a lot of work to be done before it becomes an actual book: copy edit, typesetting, cover design, press, etc. Some world class medical man is also going to give it the once-over to make sure all the mental health bits are responsible.  


Ernest Hermingway said ‘the first draft of everything is shit’ and he was right. Though I didn’t realise just quite how shit my first draft was until I had the joy of working with my Unbound editor, Liz Garner. Before she came on board, the manuscript was turbo-shit, and she helped me turn it into something that I really love. The process gave me a new appreciation of editors’ wizardry: their sixth sense for patterns, shapes, repetitions, pace, tension – beats I couldn’t see even yet alone control. It was a wonderful experience.


Ironically, in writing a book about obsessive compulsive disorder, my obsessive tendencies went loco. My thinking was black and white. If I couldn’t write a superlatively brilliant book, then it must be terrible – absolutely, risibly, embarrassingly so. I once heard OCD described as a ‘catastrophic misinterpretation’ of intrusive thoughts – which is also apt to describe my totally melo-dro unpicking of editorial feedback:

Editor: I think it’s great. 
Me: She thinks it’s awful.

Editor: Part two feels fine.
Me: Part two is fokking horRENhous.

Editor: I love it. 
Me: She hates it.

But, rather fittingly – given the book’s central theme of accepting uncertainty and greyness – I finally handed the beast over, not knowing if really I’d nailed it, but feeling pretty pleased none-the-less. 

Thank you again for all your pledges. Means the world. 

Rose x

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Stephen Roberts
 Stephen Roberts says:

Pasta-and-butter is it these days, Rose? I remember you telling us all about the great pleasure we could could bring to our lives by investing in a pot of M&S chicken, mustard & honey pasta. Congratulations on finishing the book. This is a very exciting time for you. I'm looking forward to reading it.

posted 18th April 2015

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