Books,  News

Why my brain has no space and why I have no time

So here is the news.

I am going to slow down considerably on writing HIM.

I can hear you: “You were supposed to finish by mid-April!”

Yes, I know. The funny thing about books is that they don’t generally behave the way you would like them to. Ditto for life.

So why am I decelerating on HIM at the moment?

Lots of reasons but mostly: I want to enter the Vogel Awards and the Richell Prize.

The deadline for Vogels is 31 May. The deadline for Richell is 1 June. I want to enter Sedition into the Vogels but that means editing Sedition before 31 May which at the moment means having HIM wait a bit.

But I also want to enter HIM into Richell.

“But it’s unfinished!” you say. Well, yes but they only want the first chapter or so. And I entered Sedition‘s first chapter last year and heard nothing but the chirping of crickets. They may like HIM better. Who knows?

Sedition is better than it was in June last year. It needs editing. I can do the best I can but I can’t ask anyone else to do a rush job. And I cannot submit it to both competitions at the same time.

So I want to focus on editing Sedition first. Which at the moment means using #thesisfriday time for this though how this will happen I don’t know because last I checked there were no powerpoints near our usual table. I may have to ostracise myself.

“You have six other days.” is what you may point out.

Well, yes, but there is this little thing called money. And this other thing called a job – I got one.

BEFORE anyone gets excited at the absolute lottery like improbability of this occurring – it’s a contract for just two months till the end of the financial year in June, four days a week for a rather nifty hourly rate 🙂 but it occupies me from nine to five and involves staring at a screen. And it’s not in journalism or publishing. 🙁 I am knocking it out of the park as far as my work duties are concerned, so far down the alphabet that you have gone past KPIs but I do come home less likely to want to stare at a screen and less energised to write/work.

So I plan to try to come home and edit Sedition after work. I also plan to try to wake up earlier and do a bit of editing before I leave but frankly it is so far very tough given that my early morning hours are engaged with figuring out how best to combat not just the winter outside but the very weird thermostat settings in the office.

Now add to that the fact that I have to do a heap of organising, analysing and volunteering stuff, all unpaid, for Diverse Writers of Australia, Australian Women Writers and the WA Media committee of the MEAA union for journalists and writers. I want to do all these things though because you know, ethics, principles, and supporting other writers and so on, because I want to. But I also want to acknowledge that it takes time and effort to do so. And it isn’t always visible and you may not have known that I do all this. Well, now you do. This is where my time goes.

Well on all this, sleeping, eating and this partner I have suddenly acquired. I say suddenly because it’s been awhile but it is still very mysterious as to where he appeared from.

My brain is busy, I am busy, I need more time, I have so many other stupid things that I worry about unnecessarily – basically, the lesson here is that until you get to submission stage your book ain’t done so don’t start the next one. Also, Mother, if you are reading this, I am not letting you see Sedition till it is done.

But you can help by reading HIM so far and giving me pointers and tips and suggestions. [restrict] Click here to read the draft and comment. The password is LIMERENCE.[/restrict]

If you want to beta read Sedition before I submit it, please email me.

Cheers, Marisa

Marisa is a globetrotting freelance writer, journalist and editor with cat for hire (her, not the cat). She is usually based in Melbourne but is currently flouncing around in Perth for a week for the Inaugural 2018 KSP - Varuna Foundation Fellowship. She will be at Melbourne's Continuum and online running a Writers' Bloc course in the coming weeks.

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