Autumn is here and winter around the corner. We rub our hands in glee as we encounter cold and rainy weather, confining us to being indoors with plenty of time to write.
My plan was to re-read sections of my novel set in the 1950s, to arrange them in a funky way with more spaces for stream of conscience passages from one of my characters and then to settle on the structure, given that I have two ‘lead’ narrators. I have not yet begun. What has stopped me, what has got in the way?
Right now I have 4 writing ‘hats’. The first is my hat of short story writer. At this time of year there are several interesting competitions on offer. I enjoy the different challenges of writing short fiction so this is a hat I’m not going to shrug off. The second is to continue to give publicity for my memoir, to arrange, if I can, more opportunities to speak about the book and sell a few copies. The third project is a new one, that of creating, marketing and giving a 1-day workshop on The Memoir: What it is and what it isn’t. The fourth is the novel.
I am making progress with the workshop; summoning up the courage to ring 2 bookshops to discuss a signing and selling event; have submitted 2 more stories recently – no luck yet – and taken out a subscription to Writing Magazine with the aim of submitting to them. The pages of my draft novel are still lying on the floor waiting.
When we were at school we followed a timetable of, not 4, but 7 subjects a day. Some of them were double lessons. So here’s what I reckon a writer’s timetable might look like:
9 30 – 10 am checking social media, emails etc.
10 – 10.15 coffee
10.15 – 12.15 a double lesson on the novel.
12.15 – 1pm where have I reached with the short stories?
1 – 1.30 lunch
1.30 – 3 redrafting, finishing and submitting the latest story.
3pm – Brain dead. Tea.
3.30 – choice of publicity for the memoir or adding to the progress of the workshop.
4.30 – ironing to Pointless
5.15 – final check on the progress of the day before watching the news to discover how the rest of the world has been spending its time – with a scooner of dry sherry.
Will it work?