Saturday 27th June 2020
There’s a large part of me that feels like I’ve done nothing during lockdown. My waistline has increased so that’s certainly true when it comes to exercise.
But perhaps I’m being cruel to myself when it comes to writing.
Some of this has been pretty obvious, some of it has been behind the scenes.
I can look at the work I’ve done on theme and already see a massive improvement in my outlining. Whilst the proof will come when I start turning synopsises into drafts, others appear to have noticed the improvement as well.
That’s the problem with writing (and particularly publishing). Improvements come small, sudden and very far apart. It makes them difficult to see.
From where I sit, all I can see is the range of side projects that got started then never finished as I swapped between them. From my perspective, it feels I’ve been dabbling and not achieving very much.
But that’s a lie. These side projects have been activities to keep me occupied whilst I wait on a number of milestones in primary projects.
The last few weeks have been busy and extremely focused. They’ve sometimes felt long as they always do when you are waiting on other people. Novels are big things that take a long time to write. It means it takes people time to read them and comment, and no matter how quickly they do it, it always feels like too long.
That’s where the side projects can help. They take your mind off the waiting.
And whereas I might lament that I seem to swap between projects, I make progress on them that’s easy to pick up from. One synopsis I recently wrote, was based on some early work I’d done a few years ago, and having something basic to work from really, really helped.
So those side projects might only get a couple of percent done before being swapped to something else, but it means that when they do get their turn to be a primary project… well, I won’t be started from scratch. And as we know, getting started can often be the biggest problem.
But today was very much about primary projects, and the culmination of all those milestones, all that waiting. There are still more milestones to progress, and the story isn’t over, but today was a major milestone. It’s taken a lot of work to get here, and shows just how hard I’ve worked during lockdown, despite what I might think.
There’s more work to do, perhaps a lot more, but reaching this milestone feels like a major achievement.
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