Keep on keeping on

I had Friday off work. After a couple of extremely intense, extremely busy weeks, I had an extra day this weekend to recharge. And what happened? I barely slept. I woke up at 7am Friday, Saturday and today, Sunday, despite knowing I needed the sleep. Despite wanting the sleep.

But what I did get was a taste of what it’s like – I guess – to be a full-time writer. I’ve done three full days at my desk this weekend. I’ve done hours. I’ve got up only to stretch and make tea and jog on the spot to get the circulation flowing. And you know what? It’s tiring. Really tiring.

It’s been fun, but  it’s definitely felt more like work this weekend. The sun’s been shining, the weather’s warmer, I’ve wanted to get out in the garden – but I haven’t. I’ve worked, and worked damn hard.

The good news is that I’m three quarters of the way through the edits and the book. And I’ve managed to keep the additional word count to 5,000 words – so far. That might go up a little, but I’m hoping not too much. I don’t want to present a bloated rewrite to my agent.

The husband’s been great this weekend, very, very supportive. He’s been shouting at me to get back to work when he’s spotted me watching him mow the lawn. So thoughtful. But he really has taken it to heart. He understands how much it means to me, and how important it is, and he hasn’t complained even though I’ve left him to his own devices all weekend. Truth be told, he’s probably enjoyed the peace and quiet.

So, with a little luck, I’ll get this finished by the end of next weekend, which was my self-imposed deadline and is a week and a bit earlier than Harry asked for it. Giving him that little bit of extra time to check for continuity errors caused by shifting scenes and adding in new information is crucial, I think, and I probably can’t see the wood for the trees anymore as it is.

So, while being a full-time writer is my ultimate dream, I’ve definitely discovered that it won’t as easy as I’d hoped. And that’s fine. Because nothing worth having is easy. Until then, I’m faced with being a full-time worker and a part-time writer. And that’s fine too. Learn the trade, put in the hours, earn the recognition. It’s like bands doing the pubs and clubs, the small gigs, building up a repertoire and a fan base, putting in the work before getting spotted. Earning your stripes. Success isn’t all X-Factor or The Voice. It’s about graft.

I want to graft. I’m happy to graft. Just remind me I said it next time I’m moaning about the sores on my arse and the callouses on my fingertips.


Currently reading: Morning Star, by Pierce Brown

Currently watching: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Shannara Chronicles, The 100

Currently listening: Wish you were here, by Pink Floyd


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