Once you’ve discovered Roquefort, you’re always vulnerable. You’re always in danger because you cannot un-know how good it is.

can't get enough roquefort

Once you’ve (inevitably?) purchased a chunk of this potent, brilliant cheese you’ve a real problem because that stuff doesn’t last long. It needs eating. Or at least, that’s what it tells you; that’s what it whispers from its layers of foil and cheese-paper, sequestered in the not-quite-sealed cheese container in the fridge.

Melted on steak, stuffed in mushrooms, smushed onto bread or just pealed from the knife, you will eat the whole lot. And then lick the knife.

Which is all well and good until you’re trying to watch your diet and discover how many calories this stuff packs.

(Actually, the calories are about the same as every other cheese, if you’re wondering. If you can make a small amount of strong cheese satisfy, as opposed to a large amount of mild cheese, you’re in luck. Unless you live outside of France, or don’t have the funds. Sorry.)

I’m having The Roquefort Problem (not yet recognised universally by psychologists…) with Nanowrimo. Nanowrimo is an annual novel-writing challenge. Fifty thousand words in one month, that’s the goal. At first it is a strong flavour to get your tongue around, but once you know it, once you love it… well, there’s just no going back. At least, not for me.

November starts in a few days and I MUST NOT WRITE ANOTHER SHODDY FIRST DRAFT.

That’s not to say my first drafts are uniquely shoddy. First drafts tend to be shoddy, in comparison to their fifth/sixth/seventh drafts (ie. the ones worth publishing, best case scenario).

I am in the throes of fine-tuning two near-finished (probably… possibly…) manuscripts and that is what I need to focus on, not the shiny new sports car that is Nanowrimo. It will jet me off to some fascinating new location with fascinating new friends, and enthrall me for a month and leave me with YET ANOTHER unfinished novel.

I have ideas. I daydream about novel-ideas. I haven’t written a new one in a while. When these two manuscripts are shining bright and actually done-with I have at least two more waiting in the wings. Major rewrites involve lots of new writing, so I will get to do some fresh work in there, but I know myself. I will be tempted by that shiny sports car. I will need a line in the sand.

We recently instituted a new rule, aiming to get ourselves into bed earlier: no starting a new tv show after 9pm. This is working wonderfully, or would be if we didn’t then read and read and read… but it’s certainly helping.

New rule for me: no new novels until something is published. Or at least underway to be published.


Nanowrimo, like Roquefort, is a wonderful thing. If you need a kick of motivation and a world-wide community of cohorts procrastinating- I mean working right along side you, cheering you on, do it!

But I better not. Not this year. I got some feedback from a literary agent and if I can make the changes she suggested, in an impressive time-frame, then hopefully, fingers-crossed, we might have ourselves a real chance…

Fingers crossed, next year I’ll be doing Nanowrimo.