Wasting Time


If there’s one thing I really, really hate, it’s feeling like I’ve wasted time.

Last Sunday I started writing a blog post. I wasn’t planning to write one that day – in fact, I already had more than enough things on my to-do list – but an idea popped into my head and I thought it had potential. I never wanted my blog to become just simple progress reports about my book and I’d been lacking in inspiration, so it seemed only right to grab the opportunity when it presented itself.

I spent most of the day working on it. With my most recent posts rather short, cop-out affairs, I wanted to write something really interesting, something thoughtful and compelling and deserving of people’s time. Unfortunately, even when the light was starting to fade (which is pretty late for us in the UK now), it was still a bit of a mess. I had something, yes, but it wasn’t a complete post, and something about it just wasn’t really working.

Of course, after spending all that time on it, I couldn’t just give up. I didn’t even consider it. I didn’t want to start again, either – that seemed too extreme. But when I failed to sort it out the next day, or the next, or the next, I came to realise I couldn’t continue. As much as it pained me, I was going to have to put it to one side and admit (at least temporary) defeat.

It would have been a little different had it been an academic assignment, or a piece for professional publication, but at the end of the day, My Wordy Journey only lives because of my book. I wanted to have a stunning post this month – I really did – but would there really have been any point if it came at the expense of a week’s worth of writing time? I hated storing that file away, and I’m still hoping some of the content might be usable, but sometimes it’s a case of looking at the bigger picture. Potentially losing a few days’ work is bad enough, but the thought of my deadline slipping past and life taking over and never managing to finish my novel is just too much. All those months of work – years even – with nothing to show for it..? No.

So I’m sorry; I haven’t got a wonderful, thought-provoking blog post this month. However, in spite of my little fiasco I do feel I’ve made some reasonable progress with my writing these past few weeks. I’ve now passed 36,000 words, I’m starting to get into the habit of writing regularly, and hopefully this way it won’t be too long before I have a whole book to share with the world. And I don’t know about you, but I reckon that’s far more exciting.

CC Image courtesy of becosky… on Flickr

A New Chapter

Okay, I have a confession to make… Since my last blog post, I haven’t even looked at my novel.

I know, I know, it’s not good – not good at all. I’ll never become a published author if I carry on like that. But that’s not going to happen, because at approximately 4.22pm this afternoon, I submitted my very last university assignment. That’s it. They’re all in. Which means I can finally make my novel a real priority.

It hasn’t really sunk in yet. Right now I’m still swimming in that horrible, post-assignment-submission daze, trying not to think about all the mistakes I might have made (and then cursing when something does pop into my head), but even once this phase has passed, I think it could take a little while. A life without academic assessments? After so many years of education, it just doesn’t seem possible. But the thought of being able to focus on my writing – properly focus on my writing – is definitely fantastic. So here’s to a new start – a new chapter, if you will. I have just over 7 months left until my deadline, and I’m going to give it my all.

– Oh, and for anyone who’s curious, this is one of the more interesting projects that’s been demanding so much of my time these past few weeks: