How can I prioritise my writing?

For the last two months, my number one writing goal has been to complete the first draft of my next book. My word count has probably nudged up 10% in that time; I haven’t measured exactly – I’m a writer, not a mathematician.

The point is, I seem to have lost the ability to prioritse my own writing.

Yes, I’m writing for other people (which I love) and I’m still teaching part-time (which I prefer to full-time). And I have a very chatty eight year old – but she wants to chat about books, and more specifically her Harry Potter discovery, so #proudmum #proudwriter #proudreader.

But I have always been able to find time to plot and write my own books, especially in the last year. My phone and PC and laptop and nearest notebook are crammed full of ideas. I have a complete plot worked out – I’ve even written the epilogue. Book 3 – a novella – is about my favourite, and the most wonderful time of the year.

And yet, my telly viewing has never been higher, my home office has never been tidier, and my social life – socially distanced – hasn’t been fuller. I think I even contemplated cleaning the oven the other day.

Yet, every time I sit to write, time disappears and the plot remains unwritten, even a rubbish first draft. I’ve popped writing sessions in my diary, and almost immediately crossed them out because something else has wandered in – perhaps my Buffy rerun obsession, or bingeing on Ozark. My daughter’s room looks magnificent compared to the summer, when I wrote and edited my second novel, Everything And Nothing in four months.

And then there’s the tea and biscuits I keep demolishing.

However, I’m not – too – worried. The first draft will be finished before Friday. Because, hello half-term. There’s also an extra hour in bed to be gained somewhere, with the end of British Summer Time. And I’m pretty sure a Christmas book needs to be out by at least December, although reading Christmas novels for fun, like Kiley Dunbar‘s gorgeous Lapland-based Christmas at Frozen Falls, and listening to Christmas music, Dolly Parton, has probably supported the autumnal procrastination. Instead of writing, I keep dreaming about all the Christmas stories and Christmas crafts I can’t wait to indulge in.

So, the current word count on my WIP is 15k. By – this – Friday I shall have found another 15k. Possibly under the tin of Roses that seems to have taken up residence on my desk? I’ll let you know.


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