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Staying Sane Throughout

The error I see most often with other writers is that they assume that the reader knows what they do. This book is a how-to guide of sorts and I spent a long time agonising over the possibility that I had made a leap in logic or used a term but only defined it later. I wasn’t impressed enough with my proofreader and beta reader to trust their reading of the book and spent many hours reading and rereading it myself to root out this heresy.

Suffice it to say that one week later I had gone completely nuts. I hope my passion for this project is not completely misguided. If anything is going to make it a good book it’s my drive towards the best product I can produce. It’s also the thing that’s going to drive me over the edge. To me, writing is creative, fulfilling and to some extent self-fuelling. Publishing is still very creative but it’s much more like a ‘real’ job.

After a week of going nuts, I realised I had to cool off a bit. I have a big thing for DIY so I forced myself to do productive things around the home in between working on the book. A week later, not only had I routed plumbing and electrics through a gutted room and put up a few walls, but I also started renovating a small outbuilding to use as a writer’s cave. I restored an old potting-bench as a desk, repointed the chimney and old Victorian copper, restored a quarry tile floor and started chasing out grooves for much-needed lintel reinforcement. Better still I accomplished more on the book.

I know full-well how unproductive it can be to sit at a desk for eight hours per day and have often wondered if employers realised how little value for money they got from asking people to work this way. It took a while before I applied this to my own work with this project. By dividing my time up and giving myself a break from things nothing ever got stale. Looking back I realised I could easily have ended up resenting the whole project if I had failed to accomplish anything else during this time. DIY is just my thing, everyone’s thing is going to be different but the value I found in it was that it was more than fun, it’s productive. Big lesson there, spending quality time working and having a balanced life beats the hell out of just allocating big blocks of hours to a project.

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