the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

The writing shoehorn: trying to fit it all in

on September 25, 2012

I’m now four weeks into a full-time contract that lasts until 31 March 2013. I haven’t worked full-time for over 20 years and I’m more tired and grouchy than normal as a result. I’m working for the local authority, managing a service for schools, and although there is a lot of pressure, I’m not actually stressed. Something of the writer enables me to schedule activities into a reasonable timetable and put off until later those tasks that are not a priority.

I’m also pleased that I’m managing to keep writing.  I get up early each morning and write at least 500 words.  It means the pace is slower than usual in writing the first draft of a new novel but at least I’m moving forward.  This time I’m tackling a story about  first time mums.  My manuscript titled ‘Manipulation’ is again abandoned in a drawer.  When the feedback came from the reader with the Romantic Novelists’ Association, I gave up all hope of turning this into something marketable.  According to the report, the writing is definitely not of the romantic genre and I should think about turning it into a psychological thriller! I take the point,  I was never convinced it was a traditional romantic novel, but I’ve got no intention of doing any more work on it.  Tra-lah, I’ll have better luck with the new project, I hope.

The idea of running a competition was met with some enthusiasm.  I didn’t get the full ten comments but enough to think it’s worth doing.  I’ll get onto it when I have a minute!

Along with other activities, my home life is also changing at a pace with my daughter now away at university and my son enjoying his parents’ undivided attention.  Relationships are funny, the way everything shifts now that there are only three of us at home.  My husband has decided to cook most evenings to save me the trouble and  I’m now stuck doing the ironing. I had paid my daughter to do it for the last three years but my son is not so keen to accept the job.  Instead, he’s doing the wood-chopping – a very good job indeed, with the nights drawing in and the winter approaching.

Have you noticed your routines changing lately?

11 responses to “The writing shoehorn: trying to fit it all in

  1. Portugal will be a fabbo break. It is all sorted. I think the new mums project sounds interesting. I always say know where you intend to end. Yes my routine is changing now the thesis is submitted. I need to plan my new novel and send out Handfasted Wife. That will happen after Portugal where I intend to get to grips with The Mermaid Book about Gunnhild Harold’s daughter. Maybe The Mermaid Countess is the title. I need to plan it carefully. A new project is so exciting.

  2. Wow, you’ve definitely got a lot on your plate honey, good luck!

    The RNA report you had Gail, was that the New Writers Scheme? I’m thinking of joining in January. Do you think it’s worth it?


  3. Ruth Blaug says:

    Hello Gail, I’m off to Lisbon today – so no time for comment. BUY it’s good to hear from you and that you are squeezing in the writing. I gave up ironing years ago, hence my stable full of ready creased dresses…Roo x

  4. Fiona Murphy says:

    Gail your energy astounds me. 500 words before going to work, that is impressive. I did read a novel (sorry i cannot rmember it’s name) the writer wrote it in her lunch break. The chapters were short but it was a great story, one recommended by Richard and Judy. Good luck with it all. Try giving your son his own clother to iron this will decrease your workload. Fiona x

  5. I love your resilience and admire your energy! I’m still trying to readjust my routine after starting to teach an Adult Education class again – only one class a week this term. I have 12 very lovely writing students – and I’ve joined an Advanced Workshop in Swindon, so I’m sharing my poetry once a month. I’m also enrolled on an online course in Modern and Contemporary American Poetry which is excellent and takes up about five hours a week. Both of my children are now at secondary school and we’re four weeks into the new term. They needed a little help with getting settled – my son’s first year there – but all is good and with this area of my life sorted, I hope to be able to focus on my writing. I’d started a novel at the beginning of the summer but abandoned that during the summer holidays. I’m not convinced I want to go back to it yet but I have a growing collection of poems that I’d like to shape into a book, as well as a few flash fictions that I’d like to grow into… something! I’m reading, thinking and note-taking a lot but I’m conscious that I need to apply a little of your discipline in order to herald in the next productive creative phase of my life! As for ironing……. tumble dryer, straight onto hangers – although ironing can be quality thinking time and Radio 4 is sometimes inspiring!

    • gailaldwin says:

      Hi Josephine – good to hear all your news – life certainly changes as the children grow older. I like the comment in a parenting magazine that said, the good thing about having teenagers is they go out a lot, the bad thing is they go out a lot! Your poetry website has a growing following – seems like you’re headed on the right path. Good luck with it all.

Leave a Reply to Ruth Blaug Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: