Writing a book part 40 - an exciting new deadline

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Last month, a momentous development means that in August 2019 I will be moving to Singapore - which brings with it a significant new deadline, and incentive, to finish writing Drinking History before that date. The relocation wasn’t engineered in order to bring this deadline about, I hasten to add - but it is definitely a beneficial side effect.

My objective now is to finish (re-)writing part three, including (additional) re-writes, so that I have a finished manuscript to start sending to agents just after the Easter break. This should give me three clear months to do as much as possible to get taken on by an agent before leaving London.

I’ve made a week-by-week timetable that will allow this to happen, which requires completing a chapter each week, to the equivalent of writing 1,250 words. This final part of the book requires much less rewriting than the first two, which I completed before Christmas, and so far this month I’ve been making good progress by writing for 40 minutes each morning.

When I’ve created timetables in the past, however, I’ve never been able to stick to them - although in those cases, the deadline was not nearly so absolute. If I don’t work to the schedule I’ve set myself, I will lose my best opportunity to pitch to agents while still in London.

In practice, that means I need to prioritise writing over other commitments during my normal working week. This seems like a big step, since it means potentially losing paid income, but I’d like to think it is a worthwhile investment. Previously, I had always thought it would be too hard to try writing during the working day, which is inevitably busy with distractions - and hence why I have chosen to write between 6 and 7 am each day, before checking anything online - but in fact, I’ve found it entirely achievable. Which is just as well!