The voice: stupid YOUR NAME HERE. You obviously don’t care about me at all. Otherwise how could you possibly CHOOSE ONE: a) not read my novel; b) say my novel is great when you clearly can’t stand it; c) tell me the second novel is usually the one that works; d) insist that everything is fine.

I keep looking back. Danny says this is a waste of time, but it’s one of my best strategies for gathering courage: how did I get here? Is this moment part of a steady, encouraging, forward movement, or are things falling apart? Have I been lost before? Is that, too, part of the process?

My reactions are strong and inconstant, falling in love with a story and out again in the span of a week or a day. First interested, sure that this is the story I want to write, now queasy and slightly panicked, as if I have agreed to be the girlfriend of a creep, a guy who seemed charming at first but soon revealed himself to have an unsettling preoccupation with food ingredients and hygiene.

Danny says just stop asking if it’s worth writing and write. I agree, in theory. At the same time, it’s impossible keep dating a story you just don’t like.