Sometimes the best weekends are the ones where you do nothing but hang out with your family, eat and read books. This has been another learning point for me since I stopped being employed: have a day a week when you do nothing. Now, ‘nothing’ probably still involves childcare, cooking and washing up, but there are ways of making those things run as smoothly as possible. I think we achieved that this weekend. It’s good to have some thinking time, some mellow time. If I had been on my own and literally done nothing but sit in a chair, I think it would have been too much of a shock to the system.
Today I used my scene plan to write the first two scenes of my novel. I have already written opening scenes of the book (of course opening scenes are never really the opening scenes – that all comes out in the wash) but I decided not to look at them. I needed to set off on a slightly different trajectory, and this is a new method for me – following a scene plan – so as simple as possible was best. I definitely suffered from every single thought that goes round a writer’s head from ‘this is crap, give up now’ type thoughts, to more specific ‘I’m not upping the stakes enough, I should rewrite the previous draft’ etc. As usual, I had to face these and do it anyway. I’m 5K in.
Sometimes you have to get the ingredients out – space, time, practice – and trust you’re going to be able to turn them into a cake.