After Rachel complimenting me on rarely talking about myself on this blog, I’m now going to… talk about myself. What else! Yesterday I bussed myself to the Canongate for a quick lunch with Andy Philip.
We talked quite a bit about poetry – the live scene, the current state of the publishing landscape – and we swapped the latest incarnation of our poetry collection manuscripts. Well, at least, I gave Andy my MS, but Andy had run out of reams of paper and emailed me his MS later. I’ve printed it out this morning (my office is a mess, but the paper is sticking out from beneath a mound of something).
My MS is radically different from what it was six months ago. Over two-thirds of it is new and rewritten material. Even I can’t believe this, but when I compared them a few days ago, that’s what I found. I think the changes have been much to the good, but I’m sure I’ll be told in no uncertain terms if I’ve messed it up.
In any case, Andy’s MS, now lying on my floor in funky yellow paper, is printed off and ready to read. It is fun playing at making manuscripts. Sooner or later, we will really have to send them out to publishers, although ‘later’ is the more frustrating but, no doubt, saner option. If a manuscript keeps getting significantly better, that’s a sign that it isn’t ready. If it can’t get any better, that’s a sign either that it is ready or its author is delusional, but readers like Andy Philip will be of help in assessing which applies in my case.