Updating the plan

It’s taken me a while to realise we’re now in July. I’m sure this can’t just be because I was on a train until very late on the 30th of June and therefore wasn’t in a fit state to notice the calendar rolling over, but that could have something to do with it. There was also the way I suddenly and unexpectedly became immersed in completing the next draft of ‘The Coronation Quest’ after three months of prodding at it half-heartedly every so often as if I thought it might spring to life on its own. For almost a week I grudged spending time on anything else. I wonder if this is how it is for ‘real’ writers every day. Or do they all procrastinate, lose interest, get stuck and find themselves spring-cleaning their elephant collection just to get away from the novel for a couple of hours?

row of elephants

Yes, I do actually have an elephant collection.

Anyway, when I at last found myself in July, I decided it was time to update my writing plan. I usually do this about once a month, and I draw up a larger and rather more fictitious plan for the whole year in December or January. I am slightly alarmed by this month’s writing plan as there are 9 items on it, and I can’t see how they will all fit into what’s left of the month, but I can always be a rebel and carry it over into August if necessary. Looking back at my writing plans for the past few months I can see a pattern, which is that it’s only the things at the top of the list that get done. They tend to be the more interesting things involving starting something new or designing a cover. Items such as ‘sort out US tax’ can be on the list for months and then only get done if something from outside intervenes, such as Amazon threatening to remove people’s books if they don’t fill in the right form. But even less scary tidying-up tasks – finalising paperback editions, working out whether to publish novellas separately or together – can be on the list for some time. I don’t think for a minute it would help to rearrange the lists to put the boring stuff at the top. I would just skim down over it, not really seeing it, until I got to the more interesting things.

Tasks for this weekend: source more props for our Fringe show, clean house from top to bottom, finish editing novella, wonder where to go for a short break now that the therapeutic effects of Finland have worn off, etc etc.


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