Saturday, 5 July 2014

Out of Synch... Savita Kalhan

In the past I’ve blogged about my pattern of ‘Writing with the Seasons’ on ABBA, and how it’s always worked for me, but over the last few years it’s all gone out of sync – not just the whole writing with the seasons thing, but my entire routine and writing process.


Various factors have contributed to this, which I won’t bore you with, but they have had a major impact. It’s not that I haven’t been writing, because I have, but not quite in the same way.

Reworking a manuscript is a very different kettle of fish to writing a new book.

With a new agent and fresh eyes on my work, I spent the first part of the year re-working a manuscript that is very close to my heart, and by the end of that process I was quite happy with the end result. I am now reworking a second manuscript, which I am finding much harder going. The voice of the main character eluded me for a long time, and I couldn’t understand why. It was only when I switched to the first person that things started to click and fall into place.
But this is when I come to the writing with the season thing. I know my most productive time of year for writing is autumn and winter and spring. Not the summer. The summer has always been the most distracting time of year, firstly because of school holidays,(although my teen is now old enough to arrange his own distractions, which he happily does!) family holiday, the sunshine, the allotment, the tennis, get the idea. Routine disappears and with it the word count plummets and the guilt rises. There are too many offers for a game of tennis, the swing seat and a good book are always beckoning, the weeds on the allotment need to be kept under control, and there way too many courgettes to give away and recipes to look up!

What’s the answer? Well, we all know that writers never fully switch off, that story ideas, scenes and characters are always percolating in the grey matter, and that a break from writing is good and necessary, and that a holiday is essential. That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t get the present re-write re-written, which has to be done before the end of summer. For my own peace of mind I need to be back in synch.

First crop of cherries for my two year old tree
Without the external pressure of a looming deadline, and the self-imposed deadline not working as it does at other times of the year, it’s all about time management for the summer months for me now: allotting hours of the day, days of the week to the current re-write and fully committing to them, and if that means turning off the phone, the internet, and dare I say it, Facebook and Twitter and the rest of it, then so be it.
Well, that’s the plan...

Third time lucky garlic crop

Four varieties of potatoes

My website

Twitter @savitakalhan


Joan Lennon said...

It's an EXCELLENT plan - you go for it!

Savita Kalhan said...

Thanks, Joan. Like all plans, it's all in the execution of them...and if it's only partly successful then at least the batteries will have been recharged!

David Thorpe said...

I love the shots of your garden! I grow veg myself - so satisfying in many ways - why not try writing about it? I did and this November the book is coming out.

Savita Kalhan said...

Look forward to your book, David. Good luck with it! I'm still very much a novice at allotmenteering, only my 3rd year, but I love it!