I wondered if this would happen, so I’m not entirely surprised to find it’s actually harder to get into a writing routine now that I have a bit more time to spare. Somehow my days of getting up and writing a few hundred words before going to work in the morning, which probably sounds horrendous to people who haven’t done it, were much more productive than the ones in which I have lots of time stretching out in front of me and it doesn’t matter if I am still in my dressing-gown playing ‘Candy Crush’ or binge-reading historical novels by lunch-time!
Having said that, I also feel it might be the case that because I’m allowing myself enough time to think before typing, the resulting text will be a bit better in some way and won’t need quite so much editing. Certainly this very morning I’ve managed to retrieve a lost character from limbo – towards the end of the first draft, I knew he had gone, but it wasn’t until I started on the edit that I could tell exactly where I had mislaid him and how to get him back. I still need to make him do something to justify his presence. He was quite useful earlier, when he stole a boat and then pushed somebody overboard at a vital moment, but I think it’s because he lost his reason for existing later on in the novel that he vanished without trace. Maybe there’s a lesson in that somewhere for all of us. (or maybe not)
I’m very glad I decided to reduce my working hours before giving up altogether. If I had the whole week to spare, I would probably do even less than I do with the odd day and a half extra I have at the moment. It’s possible that I may even get into a sensible routine by the time I eventually retire. It could even include some time for housework, if I can’t find enough books to read or something.
In other news, I made a rare public appearance as Cecilia Peartree yesterday at a local book event. It was very enjoyable, and interesting to discover what I had in common with some other writers, and where we differed completely. I wonder if it’s the case that everyone turns things into stories in their heads, just to make sense of events and situations, and it’s only writers who have the urge to capture the stories by writing them down. Or is it that only writers create the stories in the first place?