The first of the month, after a glorious (in London anyway!) Bank Holiday – and unusually this was a day off in our house … we generally work Bank Holidays (er, and at least some of most weekends often too, less distractions!), but the Mrs had a birthday and we had celebrations, so it was a day off. Hurrah.
Have woken to a clear morning and a definite summer’s-heading-out chill in the air – I like this. I like the crisp fresh. Admittedly, it does feel as if it’s the wrong end of the year for me, age 5 to 23 in NZ/Aotearoa, I don’t think I’ll ever quite get used to the idea of the ‘new school year’ starting in September, but nevertheless, there’s definitely a back-to-school feel. I haven’t quite gone as far as new pencil case, but I am looking at getting a lot done, in quite a short amount of time, and so starting something of a new routine … maybe.
Between now and November, I am :
– directing Gary Henderson’s Skin Tight for Shaky Isles, at the Pleasance 20-25 October, and am all excited about the possibilities. Having not started rehearsals it’s all very much open possibility right now … live music on stage, two performers I love working with, lots of enthusiasm round the project and many new & enthusiastic people to work with in other roles. yay.
– Writer in Residence at the Havant Literary Festival, doing a bunch of things including a full day writing workshop, as well as working with their youth theatre, meeting various writing students – and adding my shoes to a shoe exhibition – hah!
– going to the Cheltenham Festival for just an afternoon to talk about literary heroes, on a great panel including Katie Fforde, Sharon Kendrick who had a starring role in our Mills & Boon doc, and personal hero Virginia McKenna! (the elegance, the cheekbones, Elsa!)
– teaching an Arvon course for a week with Paul Magrs. splendid.
– and maybe looking at re-writing someone else’s thing.
I’m also quite keen on writing at least 20,000 words, over these two months, while doing all the other stuff.
It should be possible, but distraction-from-the-writing-rhythm can be a terrible thing.
So here’s the new routine part : I am going to try hard, very very very hard to only look at emails/facebook/my writers’ group’s message board (etc etc) no more than a couple of times a day. I’m going to try really really hard – on those days/mornings/afternoons/rare evenings when I’m not already booked to do something else! – to put my writing first. (Maybe even before the usual autumn garden tidy and planting the bulbs for next spring! Maybe. OK, probably not.)
I’m going to try to get up/chant/check messages etc and then get on with the book in those brief times when I can but, as often as possible, every day. (Tho’ probably not in the last week before get-in to the Pleasance!)
I suspect too, that I’ll manage it. My experience in the past has been that when I’m doing tons, especially loads of varied things as I am over the next couple of months (there’s also masses of Buddhist events to attend/support as well), then I get more done. More writing done. That despite being a ‘full time writer’ (& as as those of you who read me here occasionally will know, what that often really means is being someone who writes between doing all the things listed above – all the other things that are to do with being a full time writer!) That when there’s only two hours to actually make work, I sometimes make as much work as I would in a day.
We’ll see …