My day job comes with a 24/7 ‘on call’ element. We rarely get call outs, but it’s about being available if one of the IT systems does go wrong. I don’t mind. It’s extra money and I tend to use those weekends that I am ‘primary on call’ as an excuse to get a lot of writing done.
Last weekend was no exception and, frankly, I was glad. Whilst not a backlog, I did have a pile of writing that needed to get done.

The first part was on Project Llama. I’ve done a load of work on this already and am really enjoying it but just recently I hit a bit of a wall. The characters wanted to go in a different direction to the story and whereas with most writing projects you’d just let it happen and deal with the consequences, this project is such that this can’t happen. So Saturday was spent throwing myself at the problem. It took a lot of frustrating work but I’m through the blockage and steering things back in the right direction.
I’m also writing an article on craft for a major website involving four popular authors. I’d got the last of the responses back last week and so set Sunday aside to put it together.
I love these types of articles. When done well four separate responses can blend together into a discussion and debate, the voice of the author of said article lost in the background. Some of my favourite and best-received articles have been like this. The trouble is that it takes a lot of skill to do that. You have to pull responses apart and ensure that in doing so you don’t lose context. I want to put these authors on pedestals, not make them appear dumb on the page because they seem to be repeating what the last person said (In truth they have responded in isolation).
So Sunday was spent, taking these responses, breaking them apart and trying to construct some form of arc out of them, moving parts around to see if they fit and flowed better from one to another, a ballet of quotes. It soon became apparent that I had too much good material for a single article. Just the response to the first question resulted in an article comfortably within the word length the publication wanted. Together they would have resulted in an article far longer than the outlet’s upper word limit, multiple times over in fact.
And so what was originally one article is now looking like five. I say that, but I want to ensure that each one does work as an individual piece, that it actually says something and isn’t just a jumble of quotes. That won’t happen until I have solid drafts of each five, of which I currently have three.
The downside has meant no work on a personal project, but that’s a small price to pay for managing to break the back of two difficult pieces of writing. And over 5000 words written is not too shabby either.
And best of all, I got paid to do it!