It’s officially summer. We’ve had the school fete, we’ve had sports day, we’ve even had the daughter’s first school report. Which means, next up must be the long, hot summer holidays…
At the moment, my work hours are mostly during school hours – which this year, has been two and a half to three hours a day, five days a week – plus whatever I can squeeze in during evenings, weekends, early mornings and when the daughter is off on playdates.
From September, I have a whole six hours a day, Monday to Friday. Six hours to write, revise, edit, blog, outline, fill in cover art fact sheets, promote my books, do admin, fix websites, schedule calls and meetings… everything. For months now, whenever things get tight, schedule wise, I’ve been saying (in my cheeriest voice) “Just think how much easier this will be in September, when I have all that time!” I’ve made plans to write All The Books, amongst many, many other things.
My agent, Gemma, had to break it to me recently that September, glorious as it sounds, is not actually the Magical Time Of Unicorns I think it is. Each day will still only have 24 hours. I will still need to feed my family, and perhaps even hoover on occasion. I will still be required to play endless games of Hotel Manager with the daughter. School runs and sick days and playdates and parties still all exist. And if I’m working six hours instead of three, that’s three less hours to fit the rest of life into.
“Besides,” she said. “You still have to get through the summer holidays first.”
The Summer Holidays. I think I might have forgotten those when I agreed to some of my upcoming deadlines. As much as I’m looking forward to day trips and adventures and sunshiny fun with the Daughter… those things don’t tend to lend themselves particularly well to Getting Work Done. I suspect I shall have to be very disciplined to keep up with my work, and discipline is always hard when it’s nice and sunny and people keep inviting you round for Pimms.
I have taken some steps to ensure actual work time, though. Now I’m actually doing this professionally, it’s a little easier to say “I need this time.” So we’ve looked at a few days at holiday club for the Daughter, and I’ve warned the Husband that I may need to make up time on weekends, when he’s around to take her out for adventures instead.
And then we’re decamping to Wales for two and a half weeks. Grandparents – the best babysitters in the world! The daughter can’t wait, and neither can I. The husband is joining us for the first week, which we hope to spend at the seaside, then he’s heading back to work while the daughter and I abuse my parents’s hospitality for a while. And I get some writing done. Mustn’t forget that one…