Wednesday 15th April 2020 and day 23 of the Coronavirus lockdown.
Again it’s been a while since I updated you on how my writing week was going. And yes, these were supposed to be weekly updates.
At the start of this year I was full of good intentions about how much work I was going to achieve this year. I was aiming to write between three and four new books. Maybe I’ll still get there, we’re only in April after all. But to be honest I haven’t started and finished a new project yet this year. All I’ve done is finish off projects from last year and start a new project which is only in the early throes of being anywhere near being called a book.
Why are things so behind for me?
There are a few reasons for this.
The first one being that I had a couple of projects that needed to be finished off from last year. There was A DEEPER SONG which was released in February. The sixth book in the DI Hannah Robbins series. And the book that has taken a huge amount of my time is the book I’m working on with my agent. A first book in a new series. It’s needed extensive editing.
Normally this editing wouldn’t have phased me and I would have done it alongside working on the first draft of Hannah 7 (which is the first draft I do have started) but this year has been a little different to other years.
This year my daughter had a baby boy on 3rd March. She lives with her partner, but because he works away from home the plan was she would stay with us during the week with the baby so she wasn’t alone.
And then at the same time, we had a pandemic. Like we’ve never seen before. I read a couple of days ago that this Coronavirus is ten times worse than the swine flu we experienced back in 2009.
As the virus swept the globe all I was able to do was keep scrolling through the news website because things changed every hour. Then on 23rd March, here in the UK, we went into lockdown with the rest of the world.
My daughter was here that Monday and she’s been here ever since. So as well as obsessing about the rampaging virus beyond my door I am supporting my daughter as she cares for her baby. And both of these have slowed my productivity somewhat.
I’ve gradually become used to the lockdown and the news being what it is. I am limiting my intake of news now. How obsessed I was with it wasn’t doing me any good. I review it in a morning when I wake and maybe once later in the day, but that’s it. No obsessive scrolling – note lots of the word obsessive in this text today? It really was.
So, this past weekend I finally managed to finish the structural edits my agent was waiting for and sent them back to her. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t just been sitting around, a lot of work went into that edit, but it was slower than I would usually manage it. A lot slower.
Now I have the new Hannah book on my desk. I have done a read-through of the first eleven thousand words I’ve written to remind myself where I am. Obviously it all needs a bloody good edit but the start of the story is roughly where I want it to be. What I need to do now is flesh out the plan I’ve written so I can up my pace when writing. So that’s this weeks plan. To flesh out the synopsis. Know my story. Be prepared.
I’ve managed to get my head around the fact we’re in the middle of a crisis. A global pandemic. Now I have to work between helping look after a six-week-old baby boy who is pretty time-consuming. I’m so glad they’re locked down here though. I would hate to have them away from me, not being able to see my grandson grow and my daughter as she took to motherhood for the first time. I know many people are in this situation and I’m very lucky to have them in the house with me so I’m not complaining. I just have to be creative with my time. Because writing is still important to me. I still want to create new worlds. I still want to produce the work for my readers – who at a time like this, need books more than ever.
The world feels a very distracted place right now though. But I will keep working through it.
How are you managing to work during this period in time? I’d love to know.