A week after the Festival of Writing finished, one of the writers I met asked me how the post festival world was going. Busy, I said, manic, much as before really. In a way that’s true. After the leisurely summer, the children are now in full term throttle. There are evening activities most nights, including Wednesday when one child needs dropping off and another picking up at the same time in different places) which is leading to all sorts of complications. The secondary school has instituted a new homework schedule, and the primary school homework seems more challenging for number three, which is upping the ante of parental support required. In the meantime Chris is entering his busy time of year, with an average of 2 talks a week, (10 in the next fortnight) which always changes the dynamic of home life. And if that wasn’t enough, my own work is so busy that I am multitasking like there’s no tomorrow as I try and juggle three simultaneous deadlines. None of which is terribly conducive to writing. Or that’s the excuse I usually give myself.
And yet, and yet, I feel like something has shifted. I’ve always been a little bit obsessional about this story. (Well I have to be don’t I? I’ve been living with these people in my head for 8 years now) But now my obsession has reached heights I never dreamt of. I go to bed thinking about what they’re up to. I get up (several times at 6am) desperate to continue their story. On the bus, I force out all other thoughts as I try and progress their journeys that little bit further. And it’s working. Five weeks ago, I wrote that I thought I had about 10,000 words to complete Part 4. Tonight I realise I’ve written about 8,000 of them, at least 3,000 since York. Given what’s going on in my life, that’s absolutely staggering. I’m pretty confident that I can get to the end of Part 4 by the end of the week, though I’m making no predictions beyond then. And though the words are not good enough yet – they need shaping and tuning, simplifying and expanding – I can see ways that I might do that.
I do know it won’t take much to push me off balance. But for the moment, I’m flying. No More Excuses. It’s time to get the job done.