Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sorry, I've been writing

It has been a while since I posted, but I have an excellent excuse. The best excuse for a writer, actually.


This might sound rather weird. Isn't that what a writer is meant to be doing? A writer writes, right?

Well, a writer should write, but this writer over the past few years has found it increasingly difficult to find the time to write the story she really wanted to write: a YA thriller.

Like many writers, TIME has been my greatest enemy. And my writing time has been whittled down to tiny snatches squeezed into a busy schedule of full time work, school visits and speaking engagements, family commitments and the need to eat and sleep occasionally! And these tiny snatches weren't enough for me to be able to make any significant progress on my novel, which of course has been very frustrating.

So what's changed?

Firstly, I made a commitment to myself. This year was going to be my YEAR of WRITING. Writing was going to take precedence for a change. And I was going to FIND the time. (Easier said than done. I can see you all nodding!)

But then the planets aligned and some things changed that have enabled me to honour this commitment.

Due to change in an employment situation, I now have a house-husband. My wonderful Pete has taken over most of the household duties, and suddenly my weekends have freed up and much larger snatches of writing time have appeared, which has been great.

But even with this extra time on the weekend, I still found it hard to make progress with my novel. It seemed that I spent most of the weekend trying to get back in the headspace of the story, to hear my characters and find my voice, and by the time I actually got going it was Sunday night again, and I'd only just begun. A lot of energy spent with very little gain.

Then the second thing happened. I had a birthday and received a very special life-changing present. A new laptop - a MacBook Air. Now I know this is going to sound like an ad for Apple, but this little beauty is the main reason for my renewed writing vigour. It is so light and portable, I take it everywhere with me, and if I have a few spare minutes I flick it on and get going. Even if I have a bag full of manuscripts to cart back and forth from work, it is so light, I can still take it with me on my long daily rail commute.

And to be honest, I don't add hugely to my word count, during my commute, but it doesn't matter. I read back over what I have written, make notes, edit, fiddle around the edges. But all of this allows me to stay in the headspace of the novel and when the weekend arrives, I don't need to claw my way back in. I'm there. Ready to go.

Can you tell I'm excited?
Must fly - I have a new chapter to write.