These last 15 months have been some of the strangest in my life. The fourth recurrence of my bowel cancer started in January 2020, and has been a work in progress ever since. Some weird disease swept the world: MOVID? COMID? I forget the name, but it’s been a trying time for every one of us. I fell into depression once more, and the weight piled back on. And all of my projects fell to pieces… Seems like the perfect time to make plans to do some writing in the coming months!
Not that this is the first time that I’ve shared my plans when it comes to writing. I wrote a post, back in July 2020, explaining that I’d be cutting down my blogging to focus on writing. Well, I managed the first bit, but the second phase kinda got away from me!
I explained much of what had gone wrong, in my post of November 6. Essentially, I’ve become gripped by depression. I also finally worked out that, for me, being depressed prevents any creativity. Not an ideal situation…
Well, here we are at the end of March 2021, and I’m talking about my plans for writing again. The natural assumption, then, would be that I’m cured of my depression…
I mean, I haven’t been on any antidepressants for months. And I have ended the sessions with my therapist. Does that mean that I’m completely free of depression, and full of the joys of Spring?
Not so much. Although, Spring certainly has had some joyful views around here:
But what I have found is that I’m able to be creative again. I’m not firing on all cylinders, by any means, but I’ll take what I’ve got. And, hopefully, if I can get into my writing, my creativity will increase with time.
Either way, I’m going to give novel writing another go. After all, what have I got to lose?
Medically speaking, I’m in as good a place as I’ve been in these last 15 months. And my situation is likely to be stable for the next five months at least. Certainly, the arthritis in my knee won’t be going anywhere!
In terms of the cancer, and my fourth recurrence, I’ve had positive news. It seems that the SABR Radiotherapy that I had back in May has done a particularly good job. The PET/CT scan I had in August showed that the tumour had shrunk by 25%. My PET Scan in November made clear that, while there was still some cancer present, it was less obvious. And then the PET Scan I had in February didn’t show any cancer at all…
The specialists now tell me that the activity in the November scan was probably not cancer at all. In hindsight, it was more likely to have been my liver mopping up the last of the cancer cells that the SABR destroyed.
All of which means that I’m presently classed as ‘cancer-free’…
Boy, that came out of nowhere!
At the end of January I was in a meeting with a liver specialist, discussing the best time for surgery. I’ve still got the Pre-Op drinks they gave me:
Still, I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. I’ll get another set of scans in July/August time but, until then, the world is my mollusc. So I might as well get on with some writing.
But what I need to do before I start watching them, is put my blogging sites in order. I’m still three posts behind, across the two sites, and I want to be fully up to date before I move on to my novels. Something that’ll only take until the end of the month, surprises notwithstanding.
This time around, my plans include allowing me to continuing writing regular blog posts. I’ll only be doing a couple each month, on each site. And I’ll only be writing them over the weekends. Doing so, of course, will allow me to completely focus on writing books during the week.
Like it’s a job, or something…
Madness, I know!
But the biggest way my writing plans differ this time around, is with the books I intend to write first.
Over the years, I’ve come up with the outlines for more than 40 novels. Some of these are for standalone books, while others lead on to trilogies, and more. Naturally, some of these ideas are better than others, which leads to the question of the order in which to write them.
In 2020, when I was under the impression that I only had a couple of years to live, I felt that I had to start with my best ideas. Otherwise, they’d never see the light of day. But this was an incredibly stressful proposition because, with the best will in the world, my first efforts are likely to be awful. Particularly as I’m self publishing and will be without an agent or an editor…
It seemed inevitable that I’d just ruin these better ideas by not knowing how to write a novel properly.
Which is why, this time around, I’m planning to start with my weaker ideas. This will allow me to get feedback and learn on the job. And then, when my ability is up to snuff, I can make plans to work on my more original concepts.
And my plans, cunning as they are, mean that I’ll have started writing that first book before the end of April. I’m going to give myself the start of April to properly research and plan what is involved in self-publishing. Just for once, I’d like to set off on the right foot!
As for when it’ll be published, I don’t really know.
I’m certainly capable of writing 5,000 words, on a good day. And I’m expecting that my first novel will run to about 100,000 words. As such, these numbers indicate that writing that first book will be the work of a single month. And I know that it can be done, because authors like Michael Anderle have done just that: published a book a month, for months on end…
That said, Anderle is a workaholic and I very much am not!
But I do think that it’s important to have targets.
So, let’s be realistic and reduce the daily word count… Then let’s build in some proof-reading time…
Okay, I reckon I can get this done by the end of end of June.
Wish me luck…