I pride myself on being able to write anywhere, nigh anytime, but my special hideaway for nearly half a decade has been Bar Ristretto. Wonderful Andy shuts the doors tomorrow and I’m on the hunt for a new morning home. I’ll just mosey around till a cosy place beckons.
A minor cold and suddenly it’s clear 2018 won’t offer case studies of how transformative Big Years can be. My Stillness Big Year – 10 minutes of Headspace a day – still works but that’s only because it’s trivially simple. The others:
1,000 Big Year: I don’t come anywhere near 1,000 words written a day, I’m not waking early, work is being done but probably the wrong work . . . you get the picture.
Freshness Big Year: Injury plus cold plus another cold mean all my annual targets are shot and I haven’t cycled in a fortnight.
Tractor Big Year: My afternoon one-hour “study how to publish and prosper” routine still gets honored in the breech (I’m learning heaps as I get Deadly Investment into online bookshops) but its regularity, that soothing regularity, has vanished.
Time to regroup . . . the very fact that I keep having to regroup every couple of months suggests the design of the 2018 Big Years was badly flawed . . . ah well, time to regroup . . .
This shit doesn’t hang together at all, so I go print out the hastily erected paras and shuffle them around. I cut and paste them. I take index cards and scribble truncated plot slogans onto them, treating them like Lego blocks, and then I can shuffle them. I despair and just gun down some swearing-laden plot ideas, desperate to corral them in my mind. I go back to my voluminous notes and read them again. I pace.
I can see it now, so I seat myself and reword paras and pages. Peace settles on the land. Then I realize this shit doesn’t hang together at all, so I go . . .
1,000 words by lunchtime?