Wednesday, July 07, 2010

My new 9 to 5

Hello, I'm still here but I'm writing, and when I'm not writing, I am tired of writing. So it's been a little while since my last post.

Nearly two weeks in and I'm in a good routine now. It's a routine that revolves entirely around writing. Having written two other books, plus two research theses and numerous conference papers, I know that the only way to get any writing done is to simply sit down and get on with it.

M continues to drop Little Planet off at daycare each morning. After waving them both goodbye at 8.30am, I go upstairs to the study with a tall glass of water, sit down at my desk, fire up my laptop and write... well I'm outlining at the moment - working on the plot and the characters, but writing all the same. I like the discipline and structure of outlining first - it suits my personality and I've found it's the best way for me to write.

Three mornings a week I power walk round the park for an hour or so before settling down to write. On these mornings I'll be sitting at my desk at 10am.

My breaks revolve around doing laundry, cleaning, reading magazines, eating lunch, getting a head start on dinner, pottering in the garden, pacing the house (I do this a lot whilst thinking) and doing a bit of shopping - but not every day (well, except eating lunch and pottering around the garden and pacing). I then finish writing around 5-5.30pm when I go and pick up Little Planet. And that's my writing over with for the day, though I keep notebooks in every room to jot down ideas.

Evenings are for Little Planet (in this good weather we water the plants together and kick a ball around as she tells me about her day: "We went to the park" "I chalked on the ground" "I played with Play Doh. It was green and yellow" "D was on the potty watching Third And Bird" "Baby M bit my arm and Auntie J put ice on it" "It's milk time now?"). Then, after her bedtime, my evenings are for M. Evenings are also for reading and sitting in the garden - we recently bought a teak table and chairs plus a bench and it's lovely sitting outside by candlelight and looking at our geraniums, fuchsias, jasmine and herbs. I'm struggling to read contemporary novels whilst writing - this happened to me the last time too - so I think I will go back to reading the classics.

Weekends are often all about family because I now crave the socialising I miss during the week: last weekend was spent in the company of my sister-in-law and her friend, plus my mum and her friend and her son. M had the good fortune of attending the Ladies Finals at Wimbledon - though he insists he was working as he was with clients. This weekend will be spent with both my mum and my mother-in-law, though M and I will scoot off into town together to check out some galleries and go for a quiet meal whilst both Grandmas look after Little Planet for the day.

Do I miss work? At the moment, no. Because this is my work now - my new "9 to 5".


Metropolitan Mum said...

How funny is that? We are in very similar places at the moment. I am outlining as well, I am doing about one A4 page per chapter and up to an A4 page for each character. I only have Thursdays and Fridays to write, as little L is not at nursery full time. She is too small, I think. But when she is away my days look very very similar to yours.
Good luck with it all! I am looking forward to read more. x MM

Planethalder said...

Good luck to you too Met Mum! I'm inspired by an old college friend of mine - a journalist - who gave up work for two years, kept her young children in fulltime daycare, wrote fulltime (with the luxury of a well-earning and supportve husband) and then got published after two years with her first novel (which then won a prestigious award).