Sometimes Romaniac HQ is like school. We’ve had ink-sodden paper bombs pinged from an end of a ruler, clingfilm stretched over the toilet bowl and drawing pins lurking in unsuspecting places.
I’m still trying to locate the one I sat on.
Then there’s lunchtime, when we all try and sneak a peak in each other’s cool bag wondering if their chocolate biscuit is better than the melted offering consuming the bottom of our own bag. And Celia always has THE best cake, and there’s always enough to go around.
We have a seating plan. No. We do. Just like in class, some of us have to be separated to prevent high jinks. I’m not going to name names, but I sit at the front.
With our heads down, we work well, inspired by one another’s efforts and ethics. The sense of unity and the knowledge we are working towards a common goal spur us on.
Unlike the days when I was at school and silence was king, if a Romaniac gets stuck, all of those in class will help. There is nothing like a healthy, often hilarious discussion to open up those neural pathways.
The reason I mention all this is because I was thinking about how my method of working is the same now as it was in school. I enjoyed lessons, except maths, I enjoyed sports, despite being one of those picked last for a team, and I loved the rapport with friends and teachers. I was a conscientious worker, who sometimes took a while to grasp a concept, but once it was lodged in my head, I was away.
I got things wrong, but I was keen to understand why, and worked to rectify it.
And my homework was never handed in late.
Recently, with Truth or Dare? preparing for publication, I completed my first ever round of edits. The editor’s report was clear and concise and I understood what I had to do. If what I produced is wrong, that’s down to me, and I will put it right, but I realised I was applying the same principles as I did at school. I worked hard, to the best of my ability, and turfed out those sprouting seeds of doubt – the same ones that poked their heads through the graph paper of my maths book when I was thirteen – I ploughed my way through those – I was less refined.
And I handed those edits in on time.
How early on are our values instilled? Did you enjoy school and have your working methods changed since then?