Sunday, 16 October 2011

Home Alone

No, this isn't meant to be a film blog, and I wouldn't call the above film one of my all time favourites, but it seemed apposite as the title of my second post. I'm also around the same age as Macaulay Culkin, which is a strange thought. This week, I had the house to myself for the first time in what seemed a very long time, as my daughter (just turned three) started a bigger playgroup, where you are obliged to drop your progeny off in order to intermingle with their peers, without parents ruining their street cred.

Once the abandonment issues had ebbed - it did feel strange - I contemplated a good hour and a half of uninterrupted writing. I haven't had mornings to work for about two and a half years, but I feel it's my best time. Everything seems fresher, and I like having daylight and something to look at outside, even if more often than not it's rain at this time of year in Scotland. My recent shifts have been from 11pm, after everyone has gone to sleep, up until 12 or 1 or whenever I've achieved 500 words (I'll do double that in a good morning) and when you need to be up at 5.30am to get four kids ready for school, things can go downhill pretty quickly. Teeny's starting nursery five days a week from January, and it sounds like a blissful utopia. Not that I want rid of her, of course. But I'm definitely looking forward to a bit more sleep, hopefully with the added bonus of the pace picking up on the book. It feels like a chore at the minute, which is not the way it should be.

I'm up for a bit of debate on here, so I'd like to throw it open to anyone who's passing by. Do you have an ideal time to write? Do circumstances prevent you from working at that time, and if so, what is your alternative? And do you think this has an impact on your writing?

6 comments:

Stu Ayris said...

Hi Nick! Being something of an insomniac (not helped by bottles of cheap wine) I have always found the early hours of the morning - between midnight and three the best times for me. Although, ironically, I have always felt I write my best, or maybe truest, after a few drinks. So the early hours period tends to be a deciphering of the previous evenings drunken scribble!

Nick Wilford said...

Hi Stu, never tried writing after a few drinks, so don't know what effect it would have. Can be hard enough making sense of it at the best of times! Never know, it might help!

RoGoodman said...

Hey Nick,
You sound like me four years ago, before both my kids were in school full-time. I used to be so thrilled when I got the littlest bit of time to myself. I started writing my first manuscript when my daughter went off to school for a half-day. In the three years since then, I managed to write a total of three manuscripts. One was actually published!I have to admit I relish my time alone. I can sit for hours and write.

Nick Wilford said...

Hi Ro, well done on getting published! I can't imagine writing three books in three years, but maybe when things have settled down I'll be faster. I started writing my first book when I still had a full time job, then the baby came along and we moved house three weeks later (a bit mad) and I actually wrote the bulk of it in the following year during my wife's maternity leave! I agree about having the time to write, I get totally immersed in it. A couple of hours will work for me though - I think if I had all day I would end up putting it off!

RoGoodman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RoGoodman said...

Thank you, getting published was a dream come true. I had tried for over two years to land an agent without success. Through "fate" I got the number of an independent publisher. I called her and told her about my murder mystery, because I thought it was the strongest and most marketable one. I had my work reviewed by a panel of five different authors and the majority ruled in my favor. I found out a little over a week after I contacted her that I was going to be published. My motto is persistence pays off. You'll get there if it's really what you want and you're willing to work really hard. It's not always easy, but I don't expect it to ever be. I keep saying it's not enough to write a good, interesting book; it's not enough to get published; you have to really devote yourself to promoting that work if you want people to read it.