Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Surviving Summer

I'm sitting on my Aunt's patio on her weathered bench, balancing a cup of tea on the curved arm, and writing on a see-sawing notebook. The children are wreaking havoc in the garden. (The washing line has already fallen victim to the 7 year old experimenting with a pair of shears.)
Of course, I'll type my post up later, but a notebook is so much more portable than a laptop. (It's bad enough trying to carry three scooters and a skateboard.)
I'm not sure how well the technique - of writing long-hand, then typing up - will work for me, especially when writing sections of my novel, but the time has come to rethink my routines and writing habits. It is summer; traditionally a time of great stress and little work in my home. It is equal parts glorying in relaxing, precious family time and constant squabbling under my feet.
Writing long-hand in the garden is working well so far; all four are currently exploring a woodlouse at sticks' length, and I've had ten minutes peace. In fact, except for the two year old, the children are markedly more independent and trustworthy this year. I can physically take a small step away, and withdraw my attention a little, too, when they are all content like this.
On the downside, they're awake longer these days. In the stifling heat of the past few days, the 5 year old has been awake until 9 o'clock, or nearly 10. Even on the cooler nights, his big sister is always now still up until 9 o'clock, and my treasured evenings are shrinking. By the time 9 o'clock arrives, I'm past my creative best. (Past my best in every respect, to be fair.)
So I'm going to need to think more inventively if I'm going to get any work done in the next six weeks...and beyond. And if that involves writing at the park, then I'd better get used to it.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Feeding your writing

It's been a funny couple of weeks, with my sister visiting  for a few days and various other commitments tripping me at every turn. I've written thousands of words in reports as part of my teaching job, and still squeezed in the very occasional and disjointed session on my work in progress. Blogging has had to take a back seat.

I'm very aware, however, that little gets done in the summer holidays. I feel anxious about that, but can only make plans to try to write.

Today I had a little boost; an article I wrote (for no fee) for a tiny, local paper has been published and a copy of the magazine was posted through my door. I felt quite proud of what I'd written, and I've been asked to write more for the next issue - I might even ask for payment now I've provided two articles to the magazine on goodwill.

However, I also have a mountain of reading to do, from the pleasure of The Girl Who Saved The King of Sweden to a recommended book on plotting, which I will blog about in due course, and a stack of writing magazines that have been piling up by the door. A few hours spent on these will help feed my writing, too, I hope, and might be something I can still do with ease, even while we are away on holiday.

Finally, I've also just finished watching Breaking Bad, which was a lesson in suspense and pace, and hooks and tight plotting...or that's my excuse for watching it, anyway!