You know last week when I said that I thought things were set to go downhill? Boy, was I on the money. Most of this week has been spent wrestling disaster from the grip of success. It all finally came apart on Wednesday, when I realised that although I was on target, I was so unhappy with what I was doing and where I was going that I was running the risk of derailing the whole project. It was literally getting to a point where just adding to the mess was making me miserable, and it was clear something drastic was needed. So I spent Thursday cutting back some of the wastage of the last three days, and Friday doing not a whole lot of anything.
In retrospect, the problem was two-fold. Part one was just bad planning: I expected that by the two fifths point I'd have a pretty good idea of where things were going and that proved not to be the case. Worse than that, it was clear that some of the waypoints I had in mind weren't going to work, and some of my initial ideas were starting to look like bad calls. Although those things looked catastrophic and insurmountable at the start of the week, I'm already starting to see ways round them.
Part two is a little more tricky. It's been increasingly hard to concentrate with a major interview hanging over me, and until I know which way that goes I have no idea how much time I have left for Funland. Clearly, if I'm going to be back in work in a couple of weeks then there's no point trying to get it finished, and I'd be better aiming for a point that will be easy to pick up from when the dust has settled.
Am I beating myself up about falling behind schedule? A little, but not too much. I'm a lousy planner, so perhaps I did well to get this far; plus, if I'd had a rigid plan I suspect I'd have had to chuck it out by now anyway. I'm nearly at the half way mark and, thanks to Thursday's cutting, I'm reasonably happy with everything I've got down. All in all, things could be worse. So the revised targets are these: by the end of next week, I hope to be at the 50'000 word point, which is where I should have been by tonight. More importantly, I want to have a clear idea and thorough notes of where the rest of the novel is heading. Shouldn't be too difficult, right?
We shall see...