Monday, 26 March 2012

How not to write a book

View from favourite seat in Cafe Nero
Monday morning, and I was so full of resolutions for this week: healthy eating (a priority after seeing recent photos … a major aaarrrgghh there), strict writing timetable, admin under control etc. etc.  I’m sure you know how it goes. 

But it is such a beautiful day, things went astray right from the start.  I was lured out to coffee in town, where I remembered the photos and regretfully eschewed my usual pain au chocolat.  

It is too warm for winter boots, but my toe nails are unpolished at the moment (a job for this afternoon) so I wore my favourite black pumps, forgetting that they are so old and sloppy now they are impossible to walk in, in spite of heel grips, sole inserts and so on.  This obviously meant that I had to stop on the way back to buy new shoes.  There is a limit to how exciting black pumps can be, but I think these are rather sweet with their discreet bow, and, even better,  they sure are comfy. 

Blue skies in York, March 2012
Then I had to go and buy salad for all the healthy eating I’m going to be doing, and – oh, look! – the morning has gone.  But I HAVE started writing, and indeed, am ahead of my timetable, which is something of a relief.  I have turned my back on the siren call of the index cards, and am just writing a rough draft, which is what I should have been doing all along.  I’m not worrying about anything except getting the words on the page for now and am aiming for a 50,000 draft at first, with half for the story in the present and half in the past.  

I’ve started in the past, and if I don’t try and think about how much there is still to be done, I can even enjoy seeing how the story is starting to emerge.  That is if I can ignore the sunshine outside my window which is just begging to be walked in …  This is how books don't get written.


  1. Just an hour ago I sternly told myself I have two hours to get chapter one finished. The kitchen door is open, the world beyond is tranquil and filled with sunshine and the sound of birdsong. It is even very warm (I live in NE Scotland). One hour has been wasted kidding myself I'm going to write. It's so tempting when the weather is nice to just give in and enjoy it, isn't it? Very pretty shoes, btw. :o)

  2. Oh, I know, Alexandra ... we see the sun so rarely here, that it seems rude not to make the most of it when it's shining. It's not like there won't be plenty of grey days when we can write, right?

  3. The lovely photos of York bring back memories!

    It's definitely been a day for being out and about. I was supposed to be editing my first chapter but got precisely nowhere with that...

  4. I'm only managing a couple of hundred words at a time before I find an excuse to go outside ... makes for slow going!