This post was originally supposed to be entitled ‘10 things to do before NaNoWriMo’ but due to my tendency to procrastinate and also to denial on my part about the speed with which September would give way to October and the suddenness with which October would then reach its final stages, I am running a bit late with my list.
1. Get the boring committee stuff out of the way - minutes and meeting arrangements, website content and the computer set up I have promised to do. All delayed by a personality clash between two adults who should have known better [sigh], causing multiple extra meetings and anguished phone calls.
2. Arrange for allegedly minor car problem to be fixed, and check MOT test date - in a previous November I had to write a few hundred words of the novel on my Kindle Fire while waiting at Kwikfit. I haven’t done either of these things, preferring to use the traditional approach of waking up in the night in a panic because I don’t know when last year's MOT certificate runs out, and rummaging through a year’s worth of random paperwork to find out.
3. Arrange for the removal of the tree one of my neighbours hates. I don't want him interrupting the creative process with one of his rants about it. I haven’t so far been able to bring myself to do it. This was one of my favourite trees until he leaned over the fence and hacked lumps out of it. Now I can hardly bear to look at it but can’t sign its death warrant all the same.
4. Try to get Windows 10 and Office 365 up to date on both my computers. If the urge to write strikes me I won't want to waste time waiting for them to update. This appears to be beyond my control. Windows just does what it wants.
5. Speak to the de-clutterer but don't make any promises I can't keep about what I might achieve in November. Hmm. I have the feeling my chosen de-clutterer has already guessed what a colossal task awaits. I am not all that hopeful.
6. Make sure I have enough chocolate in for the 1st of November. Unfortunate that it falls on a Thursday this time - I am never at my best that day (like Arthur Dent).
7. Buy Christmas cards. Done! (for the first time for years I have them in my hands before December 1st)
8. Create paperback editions of my whole mystery series in time for eager readers to give them as Christmas presents. Well, it was a nice idea but first I had to spend some time transporting my previous paperbacks over from CreateSpace. All my paperback energy seems to have been used up.
9. Reach a suitable point at which to pause the historical novel I began to write in August and then ruthlessly set it aside so that I could start a completely new book in November. Well, I’ve done that, but see also below under ‘holiday plans' and 'research’.
10. Write down ideas for at least the first 3 chapters of the planned novel. At least I’ve done that, and there are even additional notes about odd things I might be able to incorporate in it. ‘Jemima’s kitchen’. ‘Giancarlo’s girl-friend?’ Goodness knows what I intended to do with these snippets. Maybe it will all come back to me when the right moment arrives.
And finally, four things not to do:
A. Start looking at next year's holiday plans. New Year’s Day is soon enough.
B. Worry about Christmas catering arrangements – 22nd December is soon enough, though there are family members who would beg to differ about this.
C. Sign up for a new online short course, no matter how tempting (who needs to learn Python anyway?)
AND DEFINITELY DON'T
D. Start any family history or other research projects, even if your attention keeps straying back to the Baie de Somme (see also ‘holiday plans’ item above).