Mentoring writers and teaching creative writing to beginners is very much about explaining the writing process in detail, encouraging them to explore, rather than aim for immediate results, to be flexible in their approach and, above all, to leave the critical voice aside to focus on the writing itself.

They would probably be astonished to see how many incarnations my current novel has been through in the past two years. I twice deconstructed the entire structure, an exercise akin to throwing all the jigsaw puzzle pieces in the air and painstakingly reassemble them to create an entirely new image.

I could have lost patience and heart, except I love every step of the writing process. It is a learning process and I will learn about writing my whole life and I know that every new editing or reshaping exercise makes my novel better. I love adding layers here and there, moving chapters around, coming up with new plot ideas, even removing content!

If writing was a straightforward process, I wouldn’t do it.

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