Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Story a Week

When I started working on short stories, the ambition was to write one a week. After the first month I was already behind, when someone told me that Della Galton wrote ninety last year. Please don't tell me that she was also looking after several ankle-biters at the same time...or I might just have to give up.

So, how well have I been doing? I started on the 24th March when the baby was two-weeks-old. (Well, there were a couple of guys ripping my kitchen apart too, so I couldn't do any baking.) Now, the baby is, erm, twenty-nine weeks old. So I must have twenty-seven stories by now.

Er, no.

I have good weeks and bad weeks, but if I spend more than a month on each story, I feel that I'm not going to get a reasonable return on my time. You'll notice two assumptions at this point. One is that I'll get any return for my time, and the second, that my time is worth something. It is, of course; if I weren't writing, I would be watching TV (and learning useful tips about cleaning the house), or actually cleaning the house (ha!).

One of Jane's stories was recently placed third in a competition. Now, Jane's grammar is bad and I am asked to proof everything; so, I hold my head up, knowing that it was my grammar & punctuation that won the prize. It was all her plot, though, and she's good at plots. Grammar you can learn, but plots come from the soul. Although I'm not quite sure where Jane's come from - she writes fantasy after all.

So here I am, still twiddling my thumbs. The baby being whisked away in an ambulance was a great excuse for procrastination, but I think, maybe, I'll get my head down this week instead. I put on 2lbs with the stress of it.

Although that might just have been the chocolate.


Jen said...

I empathise completely - I recently gave up my job for a few months to concentrate on writing. My children are both secondary school age and fairly independent but have I finished? Erm...

To make matters worse, I read recently that Lisa Jewell manages 5,000 words a day, plus an extra 1,000 in the afternoon if her baby has a nap.

I can't imagine ever being able to churn that many words out.

Keep at it though. Us Sussex girls must stick together and writerly world domination will be ours.

womagwriter said...

Sounds like you're doing well - lots of stories out there! Good luck with them.

Thanks for the link to my blog.

No, Della Galton wouldn't have had any anklebiters to look after last year, unless you count her numerous dogs. I'd planned to begin writing during my first maternity leave, ho ho. It took me another 8 years to actually get going.

Leigh said...

Thanks, Jen, for the comment, although I could have done without the Lisa Jewell bit! My best ever day was 3,000 words; but the kids trashed the house (with enthusiasm) and I spent more time clearing up than I saved on the word count!

Womagwriter, your blog has been a brilliant source of information to me over the last couple of months. So, you're more than welcome to the link!

Rebecca said...

thirteen stories out - that's amazing! Sounds like you deserve a few days of watching programmes on how to clean the house. (and then you can explain it all to your husband when he gets home)

Leigh said...

Rebecca, thirteen hasn't proved lucky yet, but I'll let you know!

But husband doing the cleaning? Mmm. That's a good idea...uh, where's he gone? He was here just now...