The planning continues. The grey matter is stretched, twanging like elastic until one breaks and the mind is catapulted back to its starting point. The work is endless, relentless. And I’ve also got a novel to rewrite.
See, I’m getting married in six weeks, and this has caused some degree of disruption to my habitually disorganised routine. Arranging music, guests and the bar – that last a not insignificant concern – I expected. I did not, however, expect to be taken out for a grey-skied stroll with my intended so that the photographer could get some ‘lifestyle shots’ pre-wedding. To be honest I wasn’t even aware that I had a lifestyle, let alone that it was worth recording.
And then in September I start a new job. This will increase my working hours by a third. Great for the old bank balance. Not so good for writing.
That’s life. That’s (apparently) what people say. Everybody out there who’s struggling to make it as a writer has commitments; family, friends, work – all are more ‘important’ than your unproductive scribblings. It’s not likely you’ll be able to earn enough through writing fiction to leave the cubicle (or desk, or van – whatever) behind. Picture it for a moment: twenty years on, still in exactly the same position. Maybe with a bit of a reputation behind you, a string of moderately successful publications to your name – and yet you’re still doing the same old job because you don’t want the distraction of a career.
This is where you need to grit your teeth and get your determination on. To reassure yourself that you’re writing because you want to, not for the material benefits. This is where I need to knuckle down and work out a new routine. Strategies have to change. I read a lot of interviews with authors that get up an hour earlier than they need to get some writing done. Is this a viable option for me? Or will my finely-honed laziness-skills thwart such a plan? Will the long-threatened purchase of a laptop incite me to work through breaks and lunchtimes?
Something will work. Something will have to work. I’ve barely begun this writing thing; seven years? That’s nothing. This is a lifelong commitment and this is just another stretch of tyre-shredding gravel on the long road to fulfilment. And this time I’m not talking about marriage. I ain’t half as introspective about that as I am about writing, which should probably tell you something.
Anyway, time to roll my sleeves up and get to it. Make hay while the sun shines. And other assorted metaphors/clichés.
See you next week, boys and girls. Maybe I’ll even have something writing-related to communicate…