It’s embarrassing to realise just how many months have passed since writing my last blog post. Another rocky road paved with good intentions and all that. As for progress on the book, well best not to ask really, as there’s been none. Or none to speak of.
The reason for the long silence was a need to be far more involved in organising the 2018 Tamar Valley Writers festival than was my intention or expectation. Such is life, which doesn’t always go according to plan, and it certainly didn’t in this instance. But hard work notwithstanding it was worthwhile, and there was plenty of fun and laughter along the way together with new friendships formed and interesting experiences to be enjoyed.
But, the biennial Festival is now over. It was a rip-roaring success, thankfully, and having laid the groundwork – yet again – for future festivals, planning and organising the event in September 2020 should be a whole lot easier. That is the theory anyway, and while I’ve not stepped down completely from the volunteer board, my workload won’t be so intense or so great. That is my aim so all I have to do is ensure it’s also the reality.
The Festival experience has its advantages though, not least of which, (in the programming role I had) is exposure to lots of writers, their journeys to publication success, and rubbing shoulders with a few publishers, so all grist to the mill given I shall be hoping for interest from the latter in due course. It always helps to have a contact, however tenuous, to hopefully pave the way.
With a clear run now until planning seriously begins for 2020 early next year, I have time to recoup my depleted energies, refocus on my own writing, and resume work on this project in particular.
An article I read recently in a magazine for writers mentioned those writing goals made so confidently and with such enthusiasm at the beginning of the year, and how many had actually been achieved now we’ve passed the half-way mark. I must admit it resonated, and reminded me of my own New Year’s determination to get my book project underway, and how well – or not – I was doing.
I have to confess progress has been slower than I either wanted or expected, but as the author of the article said, life does get in the way for all of us in one way or another, and therefore so does the need to readjust how some of those goals are prioritised.
That said I had planned on winter, with its colder weather that makes being outside in the garden a lot less appealing, being the perfect time to get on with producing those 1000 words; the magic number many writers aspire to write each day. However while writing those 1000 words may often have been achieved, they haven’t necessarily contributed much towards the progression of this book.
Writers are renowned for being procrastinators of course, and I freely confess to being a fully paid-up member of the Procrastinating Writers Society (should one exist), but while the bread and butter writing naturally must take precedence, my goal for the remainder of this year is to manage my time more efficiently so I DO actually have some to set aside purely for working on my book.
It will be hard. Volunteering is a big part of my life now and social media is a huge distraction – especially when I help admin several pages in my capacity as a volunteer – and I’m actively seeking opportunities for more paid work, but writing this book is important. Not just for me, but for all those who’ve agreed to share their stories and are trusting me to shape them into an account of how everyday individuals became key members of a community that challenged a powerful timber company’s decision to build a massively polluting pulp mill, fought a David and Goliath battle – and won.