Susanna’s not wrong: this year’s RNA conference at Greenwich was something special.
Not just because of the meeting of like minds, but because we were celebrating 50 years of the RNA. And because we were doing so at Greenwich, just down the hill from the Royal Observatory and the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian of the world.
At the conference, Joanna Trollope spoke about how story telling is an ancient art, but novels have been with us for a relatively short time. A panel of Mary Nichols, Marina Oliver, Jan Jones, Julie Cohen and Jean Fullerton reflected on the past 50 years in romantic fiction (you can read the report here.) Between workshops, a few of us ambled up the sun-baked hill to pay our respects to the Meridian.
Time, time, time.
It made me think. You see, time has always been a bit of a bugbear to me. Not in the another-year-another-wrinkle sense. No, I’ve been more preoccupied with finding – with MAKING – time for writing.
This year, I think I’ve been doing better. In February, I joined an online challenge to write 50,000 words in the month. With friends cheering me on, tight management of the day job, Husband resigned to a month of quick suppers, and a quite ruthless abandonment of housework, I managed it. I made writing my first priority, and set aside all available time to do it.
It was good to do, but that white-knuckle write-a-thon left me with so many loose plot ends, I’ve been struggling to edit the monster every since. So now I’m trying a different approach. The 100x100 challenge aims to instill a habit of writing every day – with either 100 words or 30 minutes of editing as a minimum, every day, for 100 days. If you miss a day, you start your 100 days again. It sounds easy.
It’s not. It only takes a visitor, or a computer crash, or a domestic disaster, and suddenly it’s way past your bedtime, and the prospect of spending 30 minutes doing anything but sleeping is horrifying. So far, I’ve had to restart four times. But now I’m on day 14 and I think it’s going to stick…
What about you? What do you do to make time for things that matter to you, and how to you defend that time against those daily challenges?
Don't forget to pop back on Sunday, when Christina Courtenay will be posting.