Friday, 17 June 2011

Summer plans

I’ve decided to take a break for a while, not least because there’s a waiting list to join in this excellent blog. Thanks to everyone and au revoir! But I thought I'd make my last post a brief one about the future - the summer.

One of the hardest things about having writing as a main occupation, and moving between two different countries on a regular basis, is time management. I have to think about being one month in England, two months in Italy, two weeks in Belgium – and only one of those countries in my own home, and none of them where I have a separate and dedicated work room. It’s difficult to take a routine with me from country to country and house to house, so I think of my life as chunks of time and tasks to achieve within that time, tasks relevant to the country I’m in. So in Italy I have time to do lots of writing, but in England I have the opportunity to read new children’s books in the library, network with other writers, and do school visits and events, so I write less. I try to bring some order to my life by prioritising.

This summer I will be in Italy, so my priorities are:
Write, write, write! My work in progress is set in a snow-bound Brussels – but I’ll be trying to imagine it in 25 degree heat in Italy. At some point I’ll also have to write the second draft of a Working Partners’ novel.
Mark, mark, mark…
Creative Writing MA portfolios can be done from home.
Another bitty job that can be done online.
Learn Italian
I do know Italian pretty well… but I’d be so much better at it if I just learned a verb a day.
Teach English
To get a bit of income. I have a couple of friends who come for occasional lessons.
Get healthy
It shouldn’t be that hard, should it? Surrounded by fresh vegetables, hills to stride up and down, and sea to swim in. Fingers crossed I won’t just spend the entire summer stuck to the computer, drinking coffee and eating pizza.
And thanks to my Kindle, I can also…
Catch up on my reading!
I just wish there were more children’s books available for the Kindle.

What are your summer priorities? I'd love to know.


michelle lovric said...

Great post, Leila. You are marvellously organised for an enriching summer.

I also live in two places, so have scheduled ambitions for each, and also for each journey in between.

But what I never count on is plumbing problems, and what I always get at both ends is ... plumbing problems. Plumbing - the curse of the writing classes, for if the writer works at home, OF COURSE she deals with the plumbing.

So I wish you good luck, fresh air, inspiration, space, privacy, time to write and sturdy plumbing all through your summer.

Book Maven said...

My summer plans are: get through the next three weeks promoting one book while writing another (it sounds like one of the silly games on "I'm sorry, I haven't a Clue" and that's how it makes me feel!)

Then to have one week in Italy researching and two back home before submitting said book and have a real week's holiday in Siena, with laptop left at home.

August is going to be mainly holiday apart from starting to re-write an adult novel I finished a year ago. And September (is that still summer) is given up entirely to wedding-planning!

But one never achieves 100% of what is planned so I hope Leila and all other ABBA contributors manage to reach a high percentage over the summer and plenty of fun and rest time too!

Penny Dolan said...

Hace a good summer, Leila! Sounds ideal, especially as living in several lovely places always sounds so romantic.

I dare not think that far ahead yet, which suits this breezy grey June day.

Emma Barnes said...

Once upon a time the summer seemed like an endless unscheduled stretch of time - those six weeks of summer holiday. Now it goes by in a flash. My objective is going to be - eat lots of ice-cream.