The black hole of a new book
Sorry for the long absence. I dove into what I call 'the black hole of a new book.' This is basically that bending of time and space where, as a fellow author so charmingly put it in a recent email, "Head down, bum up is the only option." In other words, deadlines approach and it's time to stop messing around.
For some reason, I seem to devolve as the book evolves. I wake up, put on my sweats, and proceed to wear them all day as I write. I shave once a week when someone reminds me. I move between the armchair I write in, the coffee pot, the sofa, back to the armchair, fall asleep in the armchair with the laptop on my lap, wake up and continue writing... I also watch my email pile up with this kind of fascinated atavism, like a caveman watching a tree on fire after a lightning strike. There have been moments when my girlfriend has gotten me to leave the house and I put my hand up and squint at the sun like Papillon being let out of his cell.
I've decided, because of all of this, that I need to make some changes... The big fault is that I let myself write across a seven day span. In other words, no days are off limits. I've written on Christmas day the last two years. I'm a pretty goal oriented person, so I worked out, if I was to write, say, X number of words per day Mon-Friday, then I'd be comfortable taking Saturday and Sunday off. Maybe.
I put this into motion at the end of last week. It's a pretty hefty word target, so meeting it tends to leave a lot of blood on the floor, but if... if if if... then I could have weekends off and not feel guilty about it.*
Something to live for.
Reading's been slow of late. Books I finished that I thought were very good:
The Business of Dying by Simon Kernick
Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham