The last novel I wrote (it was ANANSI BOYS, in case you were wondering) when I got three-quarters of the way through I called my agent. I told her how stupid I felt writing something no-one would ever want to read, how thin the characters were, how pointless the plot. I strongly suggested that I was ready to abandon this book and write something else instead, or perhaps I could abandon the book and take up a new life as a landscape gardener, bank-robber, short-order cook or marine biologist. And instead of sympathising or agreeing with me, or blasting me forward with a wave of enthusiasm---or even arguing with me---she simply said, suspiciously cheerfully, "Oh, you're at that part of the book, are you?"So I just cussed out my blinkin' laptop, went shopping, came home, taught Ray how to tie her new shoes (!!!), drank a beer, crashed on the couch for an hour, got up, did some yoga...It's amazing how productive not writing can be.
I was shocked. "You mean I've done this before?"
"You don't remember?"
"Oh yes," she said. "You do this every time you write a novel. But so do all my other clients."
So I put down the phone and drove down to the coffee house in which I was writing the book, filled my pen and carried on writing.Okay, this is going to be my measure of success. When I can call up my agent, whine about my book, then go back all day to the coffee shop where I'm writing my novel, I've made it.