Writing a book part 38 - shuddering progress

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In October, I had a great day of writing in a hotel in Marseille - when I managed to write around 1,000 words and finish a chapter which had been stalling me for some time - and then made virtually no progress for the rest of the month.

Writing this novel is a very stop-start process, I have found. Not only does the flow of productivity vary hugely (and arbitrarily, it seems), there is the reality of life that gets in the way. For the last three weeks I have had a particularly busy period of work, and I just haven’t been able to write the book in the mornings, as I usually do.

However, now that work has gone back to normal, I am returning to the novel and hoping I can make good progress before Christmas. If I can finish the second part of the book before then, I should be in a good position to finish the entire book by Easter. I’m not saying which year. But Easter.

The timetable I made a few months ago has ultimately proved useless - when deadlines are self-imposed, they are too easily broken. That’s frustrating, but the raw truth is that there is no rush to finish this book, and that it is highly unlikely to make much money if and when it ever gets published.

Not a very cheery thought, but I’d rather be realistic and still get the thing finished. Besides, my motivation to continue hasn’t diminished. There’s lots about the book that I like and that I think is good - even though there’s plenty I am doubtful about as well.

It’s an interesting test of willpower, and I’d like to think I have strong resolve. This time next month, when I write the final instalment for the year, my objective is to have finished part two.

Richard HemmingnovelComment