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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

(vol 2) Chapter 36: “Wasted writing days”

I’ve just experienced a drought.

Two weeks ago, my output hit a level that I would love to maintain. 9 Flash Fiction stories in four days and a great start to the 2nd draft of my WIP.

However, all I managed (fiction-wise) in the last seven days was 1 piece of Flash Fiction. That’s the complete opposite of the previous week. And it wasn’t even a very good story (you spend all day with a three year old at Peppa Pig World, finally get round to writing at 11pm, and see what you come up with J).

I was not happy with that.

On the plus side, I only failed in fiction, I did manage other things, so the last seven days haven’t been a complete loss.



Every year around this time, I take three days off from work and enjoy having the house to myself. I fill up the cupboards with my favourite food. I chuck on the lazy clothes. I play video games. I watch movies.

This year I looked at Wednesday the 9th and Thursday the 10th with a writers hunger. Think of the writing I could get done in a nice quiet house. My son goes to nursery at 7:30am. My wife is at work by 8:00am. It could be heaven.

It should have been heaven.

My neighbour likes to do noisy DIY. I’m not talking about putting together a wardrobe on a Saturday afternoon. I’m talking about a remodelling on all floors and a rebuilt extension at the back. It started just after we moved in 18 months ago, and the end is still a way off yet.

This noise has sometimes impeded my writing in the evenings, as the neighbour likes to start a couple of hours of drilling and hammering not long after I get in.

I had hoped that my days off would avoid this; that I’d be done writing for the day before the neighbour returned home. But when I got back from dropping my son of on that Wednesday morning, and the neighbour’s car was still parked outside, I began to wonder if the universe hated me.

A two hour reprieve around lunch allowed me to get last week’s blog post done, but the DIY carried on into the afternoon. Creative writing was out of the question. I could have slinked off to the living room, I could have curled up on the sofa and watched a movie or carried on playing Minecraft. But I worked around the problem.

Even though I didn’t add or edit a single word to the 2nd draft manuscript, small breaks in the noise, coupled with the lower amount of concentration required, allowed me to do some harder work on the outline of my WIP. Adding detail to character sheets. Fine tuning the order of scenes. Fine tuning the scenes themselves. Planning and tinkering, hoping that the work would make the rewrite easier, if I should ever find the time, peace, and quiet to do it.

And, after making the best of a crap situation, I looked up to the universe, stared it straight in the eyes and said “I have another writing day planned for November 30th. If you f**k with me again, I’m gonna punch you so hard, you’ll think it’s a second Big Bang.”

Your call, Universe.



Fingers crossed I can get back into the swing of things, starting this Thursday with Micro Bookends.

I was absent last week due to the judging duties (the most difficult judging session I’ve done, to date). The down side to accepting the honour of judging was that I couldn’t enter my own work.

But what of Chris and Mike, I here four people near the back ask? They’ve had an unbroken run of adventures since first appearing back in January.

So, while I didn’t know the picture or the bookends, I did scribble a Chris and Mike adventure to mark the sad occasion. You can check it out here. It looks at just what the adventurous duo get up to when there are no monsters around.



And that’s the lot. A poor week, far from the one I had planned.

How about you guys? Any stories about the universe interrupting your writing? Or are you lucky enough to have access to a personal dimension where time it self sits on pause and allows you to just relax and write in peace?

Hope you all manage to hit your targets this week.

See you in seven.

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