On Thursday 15th September, Jojo Moyes gave a talk to the Romantic Novelists' Association.
Perfectly ordinary sentence, right?
What it doesn't say is that on Thursday 15th September every single rail line within reach of Jojo went into meltdown at precisely the time at which she'd thought of leisurely setting out to London, on which journey she would buy lunch, sip water and hone a nice talk.
As soon as the full horror of the transport situation dawned she rang, and I said we could reschedule. "Certainly not," she said. "I'll be there. It's just a matter of how."
And she talked about something that struck a deep resounding chord with me. She'd recently sent in her tenth book, within deadline, and had it accepted. And then she'd re-read the manuscript and realised that while it was an okay book, it wasn't the best book she could write. So she's taken it back and cut 60,000 words out of it and is now frantically rewriting.
That's what I do - albeit on a smaller scale. I'm obsessive about getting each and every word just right. I polish until I throw up on opening the file. I know I could earn more money from my writing if I submitted something that was good enough, and in every other area of my life (I'm thinking particularly of housework here), I do just that. But not writing. Whatever I write has to be the best I can do.
So thanks, Jojo. Thanks for being a total professional. And thanks for bolstering me. And you can just bet that I'm going to be first in line when the new book is published.
Jojo Moyes won the 2004 Romantic Novel of the Year with Foreign Fruit and is the current holder with The Last Letter From Your Lover. We in the RNA are very proud of her.