Well, there are always excuses, but I’ve got a lot fewer now than I had a fortnight ago.
My husband and I spent last weekend clearing out one of the bedrooms that had been a repository for Random Useless Crap (which had been useful at some stage), and rearranging it into a workroom for me, leaving him in sole position of the other bedroom as an office.
We’ve bought actual desks – one each – and I’ve got a new laptop to replace the creaky old desktop computer I’ve had for years (thus discovering that our home broadband isn’t nearly as slow as I thought it was). Now I just need a chair… we’re both using dining chairs that we got free some years ago from someone who was throwing them out, presumably because they have the tendency to come apart at inopportune moments. You have to balance quite carefully and not make any sudden moves…
But the result of all this industry and expense is that I now have somewhere in the house where it’s actually possible to work reasonably comfortably, and a decent-sized screen and keyboard with which to do it. Now all I have to do is find the time.
Some people seem to be able to just sit down at a computer and start writing, and keep going until they have a complete story (like Stephen King, or like the Mad Hatter: start at the beginning, go on till the end, and then stop). I am not one of those people. I need a plan, with step-by-step instructions. Otherwise I tend to get lost, or stuck. And the week after next, for the first time since 2006, my husband and I are actually going on holiday. Real holiday, where you actually sleep somewhere that is not your house for more than two nights in a row. We’re going to a little cottage somewhere in the Peak District, and we’re taking our respective computers, and we’re determined to do nothing but relax, plot, write and… maybe do some other stuff.
However, the advantage of having had no time (in between cooking, cleaning, ironing, studying and working) to do any actual writing is that I’ve had quite a bit of time to think about the story and the characters. And my two main characters have changed; I realised that I had a big problem with my fantasy world – i.e., that really it wouldn’t have worked the way I had it. I also found another character presenting herself to my attention. The solution turned out to be that if I merged my main character with the new character, that made a change to the world possible that straightened out the problem.
I wouldn’t have thought of it – or at least not until several thousand words down the road – if I’d had the time to start writing a while ago. Of course, one change means that other changes happen – having changed my main character, my other protagonist also has to change. So I’ve now got two completely different people, and I’ve got to work out exactly who they are now. But, it should be a better story for it.
So, the week after next is The Week For Writing. Because if I can’t get a plot plotted with a whole week assigned to just that task (and maybe some other stuff…) then I have no hope of getting anything actually written.
Let’s see what happens. 🙂