I’m quite good at feeling guilty about writing. When I did it as a hobby I used to feel guilty about writing when I could be doing something more useful like overtime at a paid job, working on a game, cleaning the house etc. These days I feel guilty about not writing, because it is my job.
I gave myself permission to take the festive season off, and I enjoyed that. I managed not to feel too guilty about how much I enjoyed it by reminding myself that this was a good point to pause: I’d just ejected the initial rush of (relatively) easy stuff (or, as we writers call it ‘the first three chapters’) and now I needed to have a bit of a think.
I was wondering if such a significant time away from t’garret might prompt revelations about the overall plot of Bringer of Light, but it appears not. What I ended up with was detailed chapter outlines for the next four chapters and a few odd notes. Given that (a) there are two distinct plot-threads in the book and (b) I’m usually thinking about two chapters ahead, I’m not entirely surprised at this.
I take my lack of overall progress as further proof that I’m just not cut out to plot the Powers way. It seems that the luxury of excessive mental composting time results not in a full outline covering the entire plot, but merely in more comprehensive notes on what’s just about to happen.
In other news, I've got my first statement from PLR (the Public Lending Rights service), and it appears that since I registered in June 2008 my books have been borrowed 2697 times from British libraries. Even allowing for my mother-in-law's tendency to check them out whenever she sees them, this is pretty impressive. I'd advise any published UK authors reading this who haven't registered for PLR to do so, as at over 6p a loan, that's a pleasant post-Xmas bonus.