Thursday 10 August 2023: A morning of writing

Image by Kymberlib from Pixabay

For the second day on the trot the poet was up early and off on a business trip. On Tuesday he had to drive south to the midlands. Yesterday he had to cross the Pennines to Manchester. Both days I thought I might end up going back to sleep and waking up at 10am gone. Both times the dog had different ideas.

Rufus seems to know when his tablets are due. I’m not sure if it’s because the last lot are wearing off and he’s starting to notice some pain, or if it’s just his natural body clock kicking in. (He does get one of his favourite treats every time he has his tablets…) But he starts to grumble at the same time twice a day. Once I’ve given him his pills, he settles down again. But hey, I’m up by then, so I may as well stay up.

I looked at my diary to see what the plan was for Wednesday morning, and I physically sagged. It was ALL writing. And not just one writing project. Project Management for WritersTake Your Pick and Fireworks at Killiecrankie were my only jobs aside from today’s blog post. The afternoon was taken up with proofreading.

Why did I sag? When writing is my job? Because they’re all first drafts. And first drafts are hard work. Which is why I try to juggle projects that are at different stages: brainstorm, outline, first draft, typed draft, editing, revising, proofreading. It would be so much easier to have a job list looking like this:

  • brainstorm Elvis is Missing
  • outline The Old Annexe
  • write #1 The Ace of Swords
  • type Take Your Pick
  • edit Fireworks at Killiecrankie
  • revise The City of Glasgow
  • proofread A Death in the Night

(Yes, these are all real short story projects already on my power board, just at different stages.) I wouldn’t mind also bashing out a chapter of Project Management for Writers if the job list looked more like that – and that is what I strive towards. But today, in the here and now (or yesterday, in the there and then) it looked like this:

  • write #1 Project Management for Writers Chapter 1
  • write #1 Project Management for Writers Chapter 2
  • write #1 Take Your Pick
  • write #1 Fireworks at Killiecrankie*

* I did think I already had a first draft of Fireworks at Killiecrankie, but all I did have was the fleshed-out outline.

That’s a lot of first drafts in one morning. And 1,000 words + 1,000 words + 750 words + 1,900 words = 4,650 words. I can do that too, in five hours, 4,650 words, but usually on one project. I’ll struggle to hit that across several projects, I think.

So, enough whining. Time to apply bum to seat and fingers to keys (because yes, I was skipping the handwritten stage on all of these, due to the time restraints).

I decided to open up a Scrivener file after all and to keep all of my short stories in there while I work on them. I’ve grown accustomed to the interface and it’s like a prompt to start me writing again. The stories may only be short, but I’ve still fallen out with the Word interface and working in Scrivener, for me, is so much quicker and easier, for some reason. Familiarity perhaps.

First of all I imported two stories I’m already working on: Fireworks at Killiecrankie outline, which I did in Plottr and exported to Word; and Killer Queen, which is at the editing/revision stage. Then I opened a new text file inside Scrivener for Take Your Pick because I only had my handwritten outline for that, which I transferred to the blank document.

In future, I think I will create the short story outlines in Plottr, because there are so many helpful hints in there when outlining a story, and I’ll export it to Word rather than Scrivener. Plottr creates a brand-new Scrivener file for each story or a brand-new Word file, and it’s easier to import the single Word file than have an extra Scrivener file. If you get my drift.

Project Management for Writers already has its own Scrivener file for all of the books in the series, so I didn’t have to do anything else with that.

The poet called to say there was something wrong with his car, so he was heading back.

Over dinner I watched the motivational Monday videos I meant to watch earlier in the week.

I went to see if the reading list was ready yet for the Romance Ghosts writing workshop in September. It wasn’t, so I moved that task along another day. I’m not unduly worried about this as I expect the list to be shorter the closer we get to the actual workshop. And I do know that one of the course leaders has been having medical issues. Still I check, though. Every day.

The first draft of Take Your Pick came out at around 1,060 words. I had to lose about 300. I trimmed it down to 750, plus the title, and read it out loud to the poet (who was home by now). Then off it went.

I updated the spreadsheets then turned to one of the other jobs… and ended up just staring at it for ages. So I put them to one side and did some proofreading.

Hopefully I’ll be able to do more with the writing today.

Sign up for my newsletter
If you would like to receive my newsletter, please follow this link or use the form below to sign up and receive your first free short story.

Join my Substack
If you would like to join my Substack newsletter and receive writing tips and articles straight to your inbox, please follow this link or use the form below.

And don’t forget, you can unsubscribe at any time.

2 thoughts on “Thursday 10 August 2023: A morning of writing

Comments are closed.