Monday, May 6, 2013

Nothing to be Done

In January 1953, the first performance of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot hit Paris. In the absurdist play, a line is repeated over and over again: "Nothing to be done."

I can no longer use those words in relation to my "spare time". I drew up a list last night of all the different things I have to do. As far as I can far, only five of these things are public knowledge:

1. The Modern Irish Myth books.
2. The new website I hope to launch next month.
3. The book I mentioned in yesterday's post.
4. My exams.
5. Submitting a book to a publisher.

I have mentioned other things on the list to people I work with and friends who are writers, but there's not much revealed about the remaining six items I have on the list. They've been kept very much in the dark, because some depend on others. (One this month affects one that's listed for work to begin on in June, which affects two from June-onwards and one from August.)

So, secrets.

But that doesn't mean I won't be working on them. In fact, when I actually have an idea of how that one pivotal piece of work this month turns out, I'll probably be able to start announcing some of the items on this list.

As a result of having drawn up the list, though, I've revoked my permission to say that I have nothing to do, or to say that I'm bored. The list isn't even complete. One idea that isn't on it is something that will be slotted in based on when I'm free. And it occurs to me now that I haven't even scheduled writing a poem every day for a month, like I said I would do at some point.

Frankly, there's so much to do that if I ever say I don't have anything to do I'm just trying to avoid doing something. I'll have to redo my timetable with this list in mind, of course, but the key thing to remember is that despite all the times I've said I have nothing to do, I've just been putting off doing something. This is largely because of the writing guilt I mentioned last month. I'd feel weird writing a novel when I'm supposed to be studying for exams.

After exams, though, no excuses. I have six items per month after May (only two this month, including exams!) which means that if I only ever put in one day per week on them I'll still have a day off. A day per week doesn't actually seem like a lot when I start looking at the workloads involved in all of this, but some of these projects will take up more time than others.

Off the list, I still have a lot I can write about. Remember those topic cards I put together back in December for the New Year? They still exist. I haven't had to touch them in a while, because of the blogging every day in April, the writing poetry last minute, and the occasional bit of fiction (I can't wait to write fiction again!). But they've always been there. I could very well go through one of them a week and see what comes out (random selection and all that). I could make that a day's activity, if I wanted, to work on a topic card.

Basically, I have a lot to do, and no more excuses for not doing it.

Each project is different. There are novellas, a blog, a business-in-the-making, scripts, non-fiction books on a variety of topics, poetry, fiction and essays, enough to keep me writing for the next few years at least. Considering all the other books I have in mind that I want to write, I don't think I'll be stuck for something for a long time. Any one of these ideas is a lot to take on. Blending them together will be difficult. Overall, though, I think it'll provide the right level of stimulus to make sure that writing never becomes boring or repetitive.

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