Swarana and I have been back in the UK for three months now and life still feels like its in transition. We were travelling around south-east Asia for the first six months of 2015, having a look around and eating all the foods, so getting back into office/school-life has been, shall we say, taxing.
Now that we’re back, we’re renting a small bedroom from a friend, sleeping on a mattress on the floor every night and using a pokey airing cupboard as our combined wardrobe.
It’s cheap, mind, which was integral to our returning to London; I had to provide for both of us until the school year started and Swarana could return to work.
But, thankfully, we’ll be moving back into our house by the end of next month, which is exciting. When we bought it last year, it was an ant-riddled shit hole that needed a huge amount of work. We worked on it solidly until Christmas Eve last year, when we finally had to leave it to the estate agents.
That meant we never got to actually enjoy living in it – the new kitchen, the new bathroom, the reconditioned floorboards, the new windows, the new front door. There’s still a shed-load to do, but right now, it’s a nice house. Really nice.
In the mean time, I’ve been writing. I’ve been writing more consistently and with greater focus than ever before. It feels great and I hope it lasts. Indeed, yesterday was the first day I hadn’t written anything for months, and I felt guilty for it. That is a good guilt to feel.
The second draft of Citadel has passed 21,000 words (hopefully good ones), facilitated in no small measure by the planning spreadsheet I toiled over. Not that I’ve stayed true to it; apparently I am a die-hard “pantser”, even if I try not to be.
(I had to look it up too – a “pantser” is essentially a writer who doesn’t plan. As in, writing by the seat of your pants–er…)
These days, I write in the mornings when I wake up; I write on the tube on my commute; I write with a pint in the pub on my lunch break; I write when I get home in the evenings; and I write on the weekends.
It’s relentless, but just figuring out how long the process will go on if I don’t keep up this pace keeps me motivated. Second draft by next June – hopefully sooner!
Unfortunately, that productivity has impacted the blog somewhat; I’ve felt I’ve not had the time to put anything up for a while. I’ll endeavor to keep posting at least once a week, with thoughts on the creative process as usual.
Indeed, I’m working on something for later this week: swearing in fantasy fiction, which should be interesting (if you’ve got examples of profanity in fiction, do leave a comment!).
And over on social media, I’ve seen my Twitter following double since we’ve been back, which is great. I think that’s just down to engagement and using it more. The fact is, I don’t automate my tweets. There’s a real human behind it, interacting with people in real-time. Imagine that! If you want chats about STUFF, by all means, do look me up.
Having said that, it can be a bit distracting, especially on a day like #piggate.
If you’re not aware, it was alleged on Monday morning by snubbed Tory billionaire Lord Ashcroft that David Cameron placed his penis in a dead pig’s snout in some fruit-loop initiation ceremony at his toff school – and Twitter was giving him a right roasting.
I don’t know why it makes me so happy…?
Anyway. I need to get back to it. This book isn’t going to write itself. (Though sometimes I wish it would).