Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Thursday 4 April 2013

What Keeps Me on My Feet?

Yesterday, knowing how busy I am, but not wanting to let the blog slide, I handed over the next few blog subjects to other people, and this is the first of them.


The question was, “When not working or writing, what keeps you on your feet?” 

Well, to begin with, most of my work is, now, writing. I used to do quite a lot of editing, but, apart from casting a keen eye over all the prose fiction that comes off the husband’s desk, I don’t edit for anyone else, unless I get a special request. 

I used to think that I was a better editor than I was a writer, but it turns out that’s just about practice. The more of one or the other I do, the more proficient I become. The one thing it’s always worth remembering is that it’s extremely difficult to edit oneself. So, if you’re ever tempted, think twice, and then, think again.

I tend to write very fast, in frantic bursts. While I’m writing I do virtually nothing else. It could just be that the housework doesn’t even get done, or, at least, not thoroughly. Yesterday, for example, was a writing day, and I’m banging up against a deadline on this novel, so I began at around 8-30.

My day went something like this. 

I drank a cup of tea in bed while I wrote my blog. Then I stripped the bed, threw on some clothes, and put the bed linen in the washing machine. Then I wrote. Some time around eleven or eleven thirty I ate a pot of yoghurt and hung the washing out. Then I wrote. Some time around six thirty I ate the lamb chop and broccoli that the husband had cooked. Then I wrote. Some time around nine I ironed some bed linen and put it on the bed. Then I took a bath, climbed into bed and went to sleep. 

Today won’t be very different. 

Of course I’ve left out making cups of tea and feeding the cats, and emptying the litter tray, and putting stuff in the dishwasher, and bleaching the loos, but, you get my drift. I expect I shall have to push a hoover around at some point today, but, for the most part, at this stage of the writing process, the housework pretty much gets neglected if the writing is on course.

The husband writes every day, and he keeps more realistic hours than I do. I rather envy him. On the other hand, when I’m not writing, I’m not writing.

When I’m not writing, though, I tend to have another project. That might be making a dress, or decorating a room, or painting a picture. It might only be planning a project; I’ve been planning a new kitchen for more than ten years. I keep drawing plans, I just haven’t got around to implementing them yet. 

There you are... I’ve answered my own question... Or, I should say, Sademaara’s question. The thing that keeps me on my feet is making. I’m a maker. When I’m not writing, I’m knitting or sewing, making curtains or painting pictures. When I’m not writing, I’m decorating rooms. I’m good, too. I rehung a door, the other day, that I took off about ten years ago. Since I took it off, new carpets have been laid, so I had to plane the bottom of the door, rehang it and refit the locking mechanisms. The door is at the bottom of a flight of stairs. I did the work alone. I’m practical. I can hang wallpaper, too, and re-seat a tap.

I will get around to building that new kitchen, one day, too, but I’ve got the next three books lined up, so it might take me a couple of years.

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