Tuesday, June 09, 2009

what do you do at the end of a book?

Current work: admin and TIDYING MY WORKSPACE
Listening to: Julian Lloyd Webber, Unexpected Songs (just unearthed that on the desk)
Reading: Faking it, Jennifer Crusie (enjoying so far)

So. End of book. Some writers are neat and tidy, but most of the ones I know admit to having the same habits as I do. By the end of the book, you can’t see any workspace or floorspace round the desk, because there are piles of papers and books and sticky notes and… I think it’s known as the Volcano Principle. If a piece of paper is important, it will gravitate to the top of the desk.

I’m very organised (seriously - how else would I produce 8 books a year AND have a life?), but I’m untidy and I loathe filing. I always promise to tidy my desk ‘when I’ve finished my book’ – except I write my fiction back to back, with nonfic in between, so I always have at least one book on the go and the tidying thing never quite works out.

But I have the rest of this week off. Plan is to refill the well, update my project list, tidy my office and sort out various admin. (And I might tinker with one of the nonfics.)

I’m not starting my next M&B until I’ve had a long chat with my ed about what I’m doing next. We’ve scheduled it in for Friday afternoon. I’m not sitting here panicking that it’s going to be a ‘your book is terrible, what WERE you thinking?’ chat – apart from the fact that I’ve confessed to the setting of the last book now and she hasn’t shrieked in horror, this conversation is specifically to talk over the next contract and what I’m going to write. No doubt I’ll do my usual ‘can I do my Regency doctor?’ and ‘can I have a timeslip thing?’, and she’s going to do her usual, ‘ha ha ha – no,’ and will suggest something more sensible (in very broad terms), which will spark a counter-suggestion in my head. We’ll thrash it out between us and I can spend the weekend working out the outlines.

So what am I doing this week? I have my guitar lesson today; and tomorrow, I’m meeting a local author friend for writerly discussion (oh, all right, we’re going out to lunch at the seaside). I had planned to take Dad out to lunch, if he was well enough, but all visiting has been suspended as there’s a sickness bug at the home. (Very sensible, as elderly people are so vulnerable to bugs.) His blip is sort of over – he’s still having surreal conversations with me, but he’s not aggressive so I can deal with it more easily.

Plan is: this afternoon, update project list, tidy desk and go to post office (anyone who’s waiting for post from me – on its way). Tomorrow morning, start on my accounts; Thursday and Friday, accounts and other admin. And by then my head should be back in creative mode…

13 comments:

Nell Dixon said...

Enjoy the break.

ninaharrington said...

Nobody could EVER accuse you of being disorganised Kate - I am sure you find the desk clearing a cathartic experience.
One question - since I am fascinated by writers' habits:
Do you keep all your bits of paper in a file once the book is handed in? Or keep them in a folder until the book has been finally accepted?Or shred and recycle as you go?

Hope you have a lovely lesson and a great day pottering and catching your breath.

Kate Hardy said...

Nell - thank you. I will, once the tidying thing is done :o)

Note to self. DO NOT GET DISTRACTED BY BOOKSHELVES. Tidy papers and then rearrange shelves.

Kate Hardy said...

Nina - dunno about cathartic!! (Might take up my little helper's offer...)

What do I do with my bits of paper? Depends whether it's fiction or nonfic. Fiction, I shred as I go (because, where possible, I keep an electronic file of notes). Nonfic, there's a permanent file of notes, because usually I can raid them for background for something else.

Had a wonderful lesson, thanks.

And now: tinker about on piano or tidy desk? Choices, choices...

Olivia Ryan said...

Start your accounts? Accounts! Eeek! You've started my allergy off!

I need chocolate now, quickly!

Shirley Wells said...

I love tidying up at the end of a book. If only it lasted more than a day or two.

Enjoy!

Jan Jones said...

Blimey, I just mooch around feeling totally lost.

Then around lunchtime I start brainstorming the next one with myself.

Lacey Devlin said...

Paper's biodegradable so technically you could just leave it there... :)

Kate Hardy said...

Olivia - tidying first. That started mine *g*

Kate Hardy said...

Shirley - you love tidying? REALLY?

:o)

Kate Hardy said...

Jan - I'm at the mooching stage today, which is why I'm going out. And then on the way back my head will start coming out with things... Note to self, charge up PDA.

Kate Hardy said...

Lacey - true, but then I'd feel so Miss Havisham... :o)

Lacey Devlin said...

LOL I hadn't thought of that!