The Cycle Of Writing A Book

Truth is, I often struggle to know what to do with myself after finishing a new draft.

The cycle goes something like this:

Start a new draft > Struggle through the first couple of chapters > Settle in to the story > Forget the concept of ‘spare time’ even exists for a month or two > Finish the draft > Rejoice > Spend a few days catching up on housework, bingeing on tv shows, etc, while fighting the feeling that There’s Something Important I Need To Be Doing > Force myself to relax, and to not start writing something new > Twiddle my thumbs…

At about that point, I do one of two things, each of which might have a good outcome or a bad outcome, depending on the situation.

A. Start planning/writing the next book.

Good: I leap into it with the fire of a thousand suns, using the momentum from writing the last book to get me on a roll with this one. It gets written fast and well.

Bad: I struggle along for a few days, realise I don’t have the mental reserves or the plot/character ideas to write this thing, and stop. Sometimes I come back to it at a later date. Sometimes it gets abandoned forever.

B. Don’t start planning/writing the next book.

Good: I give myself time to rest and recharge. My mind needs it. Usually two weeks to a month is about right. At the end of that time, I come back to writing refreshed, all cylinders firing, and with enough momentum/enthusiasm left from the last book that I don’t take too long to hit the flow again.

Bad: I give myself time to rest and recharge. A month stretches into two… or maybe six. By the time November and NaNoWriMo rolls around, I’ve basically forgotten how to write a book and every word is like pulling teeth.

I finished the draft on September 6th, exactly a week ago. Right now I’m in the “Twiddling My Thumbs” stage. Yesterday I started planning the rest of the series in more depth — and mate, this thing is huge! As in, multiple-spreadsheets huge — but I’m not going to start writing the next book for another week or so.

I’ll give my brain a rest, let my batteries recharge. I might even give myself all of September off and start the next book on October 1st. That would take me through to the end of November with that draft, if it’s as long as I think it will be, which will overlap nicely with NaNoWriMo.

Or I might start it earlier if I’m ready sooner. Plans change.

I’ll see how I go.


Voiceless Launch and Where To Buy

The launch party was fantastic! We had 80-odd people, 2 reporters, and sold out of books in the last two minutes! Thanks to everyone who came out on a cold and wet winter’s night or supported from a distance, I couldn’t do it without you.


Fishpond NZ (
MightyApe NZ (
Amazon USA (, remember Kiwis can use NZPost’s YouShopUSA for cheaper shipping!)
Amazon AUS (
Amazon UK (
Barnes&Noble (
Kobo (

American publishing house picks up Timaru author’s first novel | Interview

“Imagine Timaru, but 50 years from now. The Hydro Grand Hotel is a train station, and a young woman is afflicted with a disease that has stolen her voice. It is a scenario depicted in Timaru author Rachel Wilson’s first published novel, Voiceless…

Thanks to Koren Allpress of The Timaru Herald for the interview.

Read it here.

Addiction: The Follow-Up


Three years ago I wrote a letter to my younger self. You can find it here.

Honestly? I thought I was good. I thought I’d beaten the three-year-old porn addiction.

Life ain’t that simple. And it’s not about me. hadn’t beaten anything.

I went back to the porn, and then fought it for a bit, and then went back to it again. And lived there for another three years.

Something happened on Friday. And I can’t explain it.

At that point I’d been more-or-less addicted to pornography for six years solid. Mostly ‘more’. The whole last year was basically a write-off. I hardly went two consecutive days without looking at stuff.

Until Friday.

Something changed. I can hardly put it into words. The closest I can come to explaining it is that something inside me clicked. Or maybe it un-clicked. The arousal’s still there, more than ever in some ways, but the compulsion to act on it has just… gone.

It’s like someone’s reached into my head and hit a switch.

It wasn’t me. It was nothing to do with me. I wasn’t even trying to fight it. I looked at stuff in the morning. But in the afternoon there was just… nothing.

My sex drive hasn’t magically turned off. I could still act on it. Objectively.

But I don’t want to.

(I can’t believe I’m writing this.)

I don’t want to.

And it’s not even an “I know I shouldn’t, but go on, it doesn’t hurt anyone” don’t-want-to. It’s a flat “no.” It’s a “not even, mate.” There’s no need, no want, no desire to act on it.

I can’t explain it. It’s a God thing. It must be. There’s no other explanation.

And it’s a bit weird, honestly.

Because for six years I’ve been fighting a storm. Even when I wasn’t being bowled over by the wind, the most I could ever do was hunker down and turn my back to the rain and maybe not lose too much ground.

And now?

For the first time in six years, there is no storm.

No wind. No rain. No battle.

Is this what peace is like?

Is this…

(I’m crying as I write this.)

Is this what freedom is like?