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Three Years of Writing

People often ask how long it takes to write a book.


It took me nearly three years to write It’s Raining in Moscow and I Forgot my Umbrella and I loved every second!


In January 2018 I had an idea for a book based on a boy living on the dementia floor of a care home. It took me three months to write the first draft of about 38,000 words and I was rather pleased with myself. I had never actually written a whole book before!


As I was writing I would read it to my (then 9-year-old) son. It spurred me on because he’d come home from school asking how much more I’d written.


My family read it and made encouraging sounds and then I put it to one side. In September I reread the book – it was called A Maze, and I thought it lacked something. It lacked quite a lot, so I had an idea of writing a second story which could run parallel and not actually meet until the final few chapters. I was excited by this idea, but by then it was the end of October. With 5 children, if I haven’t got Christmas sorted by the first week in November I’m up the creek without a paddle.


The problem is the advent calendars. I foolishly started making advent calendars with little presents every day when my first daughter was about two. That was manageable – 24 little presents. But when you multiply that by 5 and add the 8 (slightly larger) stocking presents for 6 (my husband gets one too) That makes a grand total of 173 presents. That’s before starting on the real presents.


I think I need to write a blog about this nearer the time.


Anyway, it wasn’t until January 2019 that there was any chance of rewriting my book.

When January came, I took a part-time teaching job for a maternity cover. Anyone who has ever done part-time teaching knows that it’s not part-time at all. It’s full-time, part-pay! You work in the school for two days and spend the rest of the week preparing and marking. So by the time the advent calendar shopping began again in November I hadn’t made much progress on my second draft.


Then came January 2020. No teaching and Christmas was over so I could begin writing again. And then coronavirus struck!


Home-schooling is something I’d always wanted to do but decided against it because of the social aspect. Mine! But lockdown gave me a chance to try it, and as it was only my (by now eleven-year-old son) it was actually great fun for me. I’m not so sure it was great fun for him.

I did find time to rewrite my book, and when I’d finished it, and read it through and through and through and made numerous changes and corrections, I changed the name to It’s Raining in Moscow and I Forgot my Umbrella.


Over the summer I run a children’s club for 6 weeks, so the project was put on hold again. But in September I went back to it, all guns blazing. I spent about 6 weeks working through Amazon’s KDP to get the book formatted correctly, and watched endless webinars to make sure I was doing everything necessary for successful self-publishing.


When I’d done all that, I found the editor button on Word. By now my book was 57,000 words long and although I’d checked it many times, I thought there would be a few mistakes. I predicted about 50. I pressed the button and, ten minutes later I was presented with 2,584 errors!

I’ve made all the new changes and I’m ready to go. So on Monday morning I will be pushing a new, exciting button – Publish!

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It’s Raining in Moscow and I Forgot my Umbrella will be released on Amazon on

16th November


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