Today being the 27th of the month, I am remarkably close to the half way point of the whole 12 books in 12 months fiasco (unless you count book 13, I suppose, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves).
Unfortunately this happens to be the point where progress has slowed down an embarrassing amount. I ought to be basically done with book six by now, yet I’ve only written about 10,000 words. Almost all of which is background and characterisation that I foresee myself editing down to maybe a few paragraphs in the final book. It’s the type of stuff that it makes sense to know as an author, but probably feels a bit long winded and boring to the reader. Pottermore, rather than the material a gripping plot is crafted from.
Further to this, after a promising start in terms of research at the start of June I got well and truly sidetracked about a fortnight in. Overall I’ve spoken to three journos and a social media person, which is great, but doesn’t constitute admirably thorough as I might have hoped. And I’ve read 4 books, which is more than I’ve finished in some months but doesn’t feel like reading around the subject in a dedicated manner.
I’ve also dipped in and out of these – ‘My Trade’ by Andrew Marr (whatever you think of him on a personal level the man knows a thing or two about journalism), ‘Scots Law For Journalists’, ‘Journalism: A Career Handbook’ and ‘Writing for New Media’, which is pretty out of date so I though it might be quite useful to look at from the point of view of these useless hacks who are new to the intermatron. I haven’t finished reading any of them, but as you can see I’ve posed for a picture holding them so hopefully some of the ideas will transfer by osmosis and ferment in the back of my brain so when I come back to book six I’ll find it easier to do.
I said in a recent post that I think I’m slowing down a bit because I’m just a bit tired, which I still think is the case. What’s been happening this month is that I’ve intended on setting writing time aside, but I’ve allowed myself to get totally sidetracked by other things. Faffing, mainly, and trying to persuade people to like the Facebook page to no avail. The weekends zip by in a haze of passive aggressive social networking and I wake up for work on Tuesday mornings with the realisation in the back of my mind that I haven’t written a single word of fiction.
There has been a knock on effect with my writing of other stuff too, and overall productivity levels are definitely down. I’ve only been updating my personal blog once a week (if that), and although I’ve done a wee bit of editing for TER I’ve only written about 7 articles for that and other sites across June. This might not seem too bad, and indeed it isn’t, but it’s not a patch on what I was managing to do in March-May.
So I need a wee break, which I had thought I would get when my current temping project stopped on July 8th. Except actually it’s just been extended til the end of July and possibly (fingers crossed) the end of August too. This is a weight off my mind from a rent-paying perspective, but in terms of giving myself a break to sort out my writing brain it has caused a small dilemma. I’ve volunteered to reduce my hours to three days a week for these months, and I’m hoping I’ve scraped together a couple of days annual leave so I’ll be able to take some paid time off around that point anyway. If not I will just have to start adhering to a strict timetable and mainlining energy drinks.
I would hasten to add that on the occasions I do organise myself enough to write I’m still enjoying it, and I’m optimistic this idea has the potential to be one of the best books of the lot. However, I have lately come to think this one needs more than a month; which could be sod all to do with me being tired and everything to do with the concept itself.
Or maybe I’m just making excuses. Either way nothing short of a miracle will get me to 50k by midnight on Thursday, and I can live with that. I hope all you adoring fans can manage too.