Last year, I deliberately took around four months out of fulltime work to write my second novel, (currently running under the title of War For Funland), an endeavour I rattled on about extensively on this here blog and kind of summarised here. A key point of that summary was that it wasn't entirely an experience I'd choose to repeat. Writing full time? Hell yeah! Writing with the deadline of financial meltdown and permanent unemployment hanging over your head? Not so much.
Yet, nine months on and here I am again. In fairness, it wasn't quite so - or, let's be honest here, remotely - deliberate this time. Well, such are the vicissitudes of contracting. Still, I'm determined to make the most of it, and since I just happened to have started a new novel at the beginning of February, it's hard not to see the twitchy finger of fate in all of this.
This time around, I won't be taking my time in getting back to work if I can help it. My financial raft is somewhat smaller than before, and the sharks will soon nipping. Still, I can't help but be a little pleased at the prospect of some consolidated writing time. Two weeks in and I can already feel parts of my brain coming back online that were driven into deep-freeze by the nine-til-five routine.
I'm also trying to learn a few lessons from last time. Hammering out wordage like there's no tomorrow just doesn't fit with my writing style. I like to be able to go over what I've done, revising as I go, and if I can't do that I get very twitchy and assume that everything I've done is rubbish. So this time, the target per week is 6000 words. It's not a huge amount, in fact it's not that much more than I was managing around work, and this time around I even have a solid chapter plan ... but hopefully it's the right balance between quality and quantity, and will mean I don't have to sideline other projects like my comics work. I want to get this one as right as I can get it the first time through, and I don't want to put everything else on hold while I do it.
So ... the current deadline is the end of July at the latest, while the end of June would be absolutely ideal. If I can get the whole of April to write solidly in then I should be able to make the former; chuck in a bit of May and the latter looks like a realistic possiblity.
Why those particular months? Ah well, that's something that'll have to wait for another post...