Current work: admin day
Listening to: Kathryn Williams (and I’m going to see her tonight!!)
Reading: Anne McAllister, One-Night Love Child (enjoyed this hugely – Flynn was an irresistible hero, and so was his son. Sara was an excellent heroine: strong enough to match Flynn. Good dialogue, and a dog my own children would have adored…)
Apologies. I’ve been a bad mum, a bad blogger (didn’t even warn you of the hiatus - sorry) and generally a difficult-to-live-with person. Mainly because my book was due in yesterday, and as of last Thursday I still had 30k to go (note to self – next time, do NOT blithely say you can write a book when you have school holidays, a family wedding and a few personal commitments). It was all in my head, I knew where it was going, I’d been frustrated in not being able to sit down and write without constant interruptions… and something had to give. So I let the kids watch film and play on the Wii all day Friday, so I could work, and left DH in charge all day on Saturday and Sunday. And yesterday, I was even worse: son was back to school, Madam’s school had a teacher training day, so I bought the DVD of Enchanted and did a deal with her – she could watch the film and eat popcorn, and I could write while she watched, and would play with her when the film ended provided I had no interruptions. (And it worked.)
So. The book went off to my editor last night with a warning that it’s a weepie and a half. And now I have some serious making-up to do to my poor, suffering family.
Actually, they thought it was brilliant when I was being Neglectful Mum. Now they’re getting Naggy Mum back: have you cleaned your teeth, why is your shirt inside-out, where is your lunchbox, sit at the table to eat because we have ants and I don’t want food all over the floor to attract them in, have you done your homework, have you done your homework, have you done your homework (that has to be repeated a lot for son), please tidy your room because I can’t vacuum if I can’t see the floor, five more minutes and you’ve had your quota on the Wii today… etc.)
I should add – I don’t normally write at quite that pace because it’s not sustainable (MUCH better to do 2k a day every day than, ahem, write a book in ten days when the kids are on holiday). But circumstances this year have severely crunched my time and emotional energy, and I had to be a bit tough and give my job absolute priority for a while.
Yes, I could’ve left it or begged yet another extension. But if I don’t work, I don’t get paid… And there’s my mental health to think of. I see myself as an underachiever, and missing deadlines make that a lot worse – and no, I don’t judge other people by my benchmark, just me. As far as I’m concerned, I’m a complete slacker who’s two books behind where she should be at the moment. So. It had to be done to stop me getting very, very stressed.Anyway. The book is done. I have a chat due with my ed to finalise details of the books I had intended to start in January (cough). And I can switch back to nonfiction this week (I have another book due... also late, and also most of the material is in my head but I need two library days).
Today is going to be a reasonably quiet day:
- print out book for lovely agent
- meanwhile tidy office
- parcel up everything I promised to post to people which I haven’t done yet (sorry, I had to prioritise, and I had a screaming deadline)
- school run x2 and Madam’s swimming lesson
- write blog to celebrate my dear friend Liz Fielding's wonderful achievement (50 books! ... and I'm her shelfmate this month)
- write blog for PHS about a certain film (hmm, need to watch it first, will do that later this week)
- think about doing accounts (actually no, that’s the end of this month – I have another deadline now and need to focus on that from tomorrow)
- switch to dictation for nonfiction to give fingers a break after mammoth writing binge this weekend
- guitar lesson (did not do homework but will do better from this week on)
- ring piano teacher to set up lessons again
- go to see Kathryn Williams at the Arts Centre tonight (yippee)
- get some exercise (a weekend of not moving from my desk has put on 2lbs, sigh – but I did do nearly 17k steps yesterday...)