When I cut down my working hours in my day job, just over a year ago, I fondly imagined I would have more time and energy to write more novels, or at least to de-clutter the house from top to bottom in an effort to put off the effort of writing. I didn’t really see myself spending whole days reading, or staring into the distance for ages in the mornings, or falling into the way of watching repeats of ‘Midsomer Murders’ whenever possible. I don’t suppose anyone ever does see themselves doing that! It just happens.
I do have a history of binge-reading, which is probably one of the things that persuaded me to start writing in the first place. While on vacation from university, which is some time ago now, I read through more or less the entire stock of mystery novels carried by the mobile library van that visited our village every week. My father also liked mysteries so we used both our tickets to take as many books out as we could. I also have a history of reading very fast, particularly if I enjoy something a lot. Sometimes I try to make myself slow down so that I don’t get to the end too soon, but there is always that temptation to read a bit more, or get to the end of the chapter or to the end of the book. Having a Kindle Fire is really bad for me, as I often wake up in the middle of the night and decide to read for a while. There is very little effort involved in this as I don’t even have to switch on the light. The only small deterrent is that one of the cats, who has inexplicably started sleeping on my pillow, hates me doing this and usually tries to stop me by walking over the screen or knocking the thing out of my hand altogether by rubbing round it ‘affectionately’ with his head.
Anyway, the result of all this is that I am not writing any more now than I used to when I was working full-time, helping with the theatre group, something I have given up now, and running a local committee, which I have also cut down on. On the other hand I am probably quite a bit more relaxed and I have more time to focus on each novel. Time will tell whether they get any better because of this. I just hope they don’t get any worse!