The Writing Lunch

Those of you who follow my twitterings will have noticed in the last three days a strange new hashtag has appeared around twelve o’clock; #writinglunch. Marvel at its promise, its innovation, its simplicity!

Or don’t, since its hardly revolutionary. As you may know, I work a 9-5 job in higher education admin, and as part of my drive in this eager new year to actually get things done I am trying to maximise my time spent writing. To that end, I wanted to use that precious hour of lunch time I get to get stuff done, and this has been the first week of it. I’m going to keep on with it, and an article will probably be appearing over at the Bloghole in February discussing how I think its gone so far, but I wanted to get some thoughts down now, for my own satisfaction really.

The main thing I wanted to write about was why exactly I chose to formalise it in this way. Well, really, it didn’t, and even to say that it has been formalised is rather misleading. This was simply the result of something that I wanted to do – increase my productivity – and my urge as an egomaniac to talk about what I am doing. The hashtag was just a way of doing that, but its quickly become something important – that 30 minutes in the middle of the day that I take just for myself, to ignore my day job and get on with what I actually want to do. So, what is it I actually do in this time of mine?

I, like every other writer who has to pay the bills with a normal job, have always used my lunch hour for writing stuff. I’m not very good at writing prose at my desk – unfortunately I don’t actually get to leave my desk for lunch most days, meaning that I’m often distracted by students or academic staff wanting something, and I simply can’t find a rhythm to my writing. So I put that to one side and started coming up with little ideas, stuff that can be achieved inside a 20-30min period that will further my goals.

[Why only 30 mins, I hear you ask? Because I’ve got to eat in my lunch break too, and there’ll often be an article or something that I’ll want to read which I haven’t been able to while slacking studious attending to my duties.]

I am on a kick to actually use this blog, so that was a good place to start; I tend not to plan these posts out (can you tell?), and they generally only take about 30 mins to write, so hopefully you will see a bit more activity on this pages in the days to come. I’m also in the midst of writing a synopsis for the novel I’m going to pitch this year (its going really well, by the way). This, as I’m sure you know, involves an awful lot of umming and ahhing over characters, plot details, setting, tone, etc, etc. This, surely, is the perfect task to break down into bite-size chunks. For instance, today and yesterday I was writing big index cards for various characters, and even after only two days I feel on much firmer ground with those characters, and the ones that interact with them – the dynamics have already come together.

I am rambling more than a little bit (I promise the Bloghole article will be more planned and considered; I’m writing this simply because its 16:20 on a Friday afternoon) so I will sign off. This was more an aide memoir post than anything else, so sorry if you were not as entertained/enthralled/delighted by my wit and wisdom as usual.