I have four writing priorities at the moment. They are, in no particular order (and that’s the problem):
- this blog and my duty to you, dear reader
- unfinished fantasy novel, 185 MS pages after 3 years’ work
- pro-cycling-themed gamebook, 1st draft completed, needs reworked
- Robin Hood novel, completed 3 years ago and redrafted, and submitted (so far without success) to several agencies
The Robin Hood book has gathered dust since the beginning of this year, yet it is currently the only finished item I can “use” (aside from the previously-published short stories on this blog, or available in my self-published collection) to make an entry into publishing.
I enjoy writing this blog. My initial idea was to use it as a showcase for my fiction, but following a stressful restructure at my work which has made me wonder why I’m doing a job so far removed from what I always intended to do, the blog has been both a release valve (allowing me to write pieces that aren’t fiction), and a way to practise concision. How successful I’ve been, you can judge.
The gamebook needs a re-draft and then play-tested by
guinea pigs friends who have kindly volunteered for the job. The book is a choose-your-own-adventure version of the Tour of Flanders cycle race, and while I realise that the Venn diagram overlap between ‘gamebook fans’ and ‘cycling fans’ is probably pretty small, I think there’s a market for it.
The fantasy novel is the main project (the gamebook was a Friday-night-after-some-Leffe inspiration which, unusually, seemed an even better idea the following morning), and it is probably the true priority. I always feel that I should just write, that that’s the thing, keeping the momentum up and working to produce an end product.
What that means, of course, is that the other stuff – the communication, the self-marketing, the rewriting – takes a back seat and I don’t make any progress; I don’t actually come any closer to publication or getting my name out there. How do other writers juggle these competing priorities?
One thought on “Priorities”
Good to read your experience of writing while doing an unrelated day job! “How do other writers juggle these competing priorities?” in my case, I don’t really. Anything that NEEDS to be done (i.e. things that are commissioned) get done within the appointed time (usually late at night), stuff I’m writing for myself inevitably gets put off again & again until I either lose enthusiasm or just rush it out, less polished than I’d like, in a fit of productivity, Have tried timetabling & things and though definitely helpful I never seem to stick to any timetable for more than a week or two. Must try harder
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