The things they don’t tell you when you sign the contract

Posted on Posted in The Writing Life

There are several things that happen when you are a writer with a contract and a deadline as opposed to a writer who is pre-published. Things which you do not expect – at least in my case. No doubt there are many wise and organised authors who had expected these phenomena and adjusted their lives accordingly. I wish I was one of them.

In my case these include:

* A Non-Einstein-ian contraction of the space time continuum.

As in – Oh **** !  what do you mean it’s November already? What happened to October? How did I miss it?

As in –Oh. I can get that done WELL BEFORE the Christmas season. Like cocoa I can.

This is deeply concerning to a scientist type who would prefer time to remain stable. OHHH NOOO .

When you tell someone that you will deliver by date X, that date is so far away as to be a dot on the horizon. Next thing you know it is zooming towards you at warp factor ten firing photon torpedoes. [Yes I have seen the new Star Trek movie – brilliant!]

* Writer’s grunge becames normal day wear. Carpet slippers or flip flop shoes essential.  I now love elastic waist trousers and baggy T-shirts. Which leads to:

* Writer’s girth. No gym plus occasional outings to lovely eateries and food events plus need for carbs on an hourly basis = well, it is not for the faint hearted.  My liver is jelly. And now, of course, it is pouring with rain.

On the plus side:

* I am starting to love my characters and I really enjoyed writing the story proposal. Yes, I had done a lot of background work and outlined the scenes, but the writing is going to be terific fun.

* I have discovered that no matter how many hours I sit staring at the blank screen/paper my NET output each day remains remarkably consistent. Note the word NET. I will end up with a monster file of deleted text, but the daily wordcount of  words that I am happy with, rather than GROSS words written, has remained quite consistent. Fascinating. But it does mean that I know what to expect/ planning.

*TV? Social life? What’s that?


For me, writing a novel is like going to stay at someone else’s home for a month/six months/whatever, and sharing their lives. Then you come home and do the laundry and take off to stay with another couple.

My next book for the Romance RIVA Line is not due until at the end of DECEMBER. DECEMBER?? I hear you say. That’s only six weeks away! Have you been sniffing the advocat again?

Please refer to item one above.  I have packed my bag and I am ready and go visit Andie and Miles.

I am in the mindset. I know what I want to write about. So time to make a full on assualt and not stop until I have defeated procrastination and other evils.

This is my desk and workarea as of 8am this morning. [The walls are actually cream.]

On with the show! And a new box file. :-)

7 thoughts on “The things they don’t tell you when you sign the contract

    1. 38? Help no Lacey. I am not that much of a plotter. I focus on the emotional character arc of the hero and heroine and then the main turning points of the story which will demonstrate how these two people change because of their journey. So I am probably talking about 9 or 10 key points on the love story and the chapters and scenes drop out from those. Hope that helps – don’t worry too much about the second level of detail. Once I have my characters they often decide that my carefully worked out plot is pants and do their own thing anyhow. Nina x

  1. LOL Nina you crack me up!

    The elastic waisted trousers are taking over my closet too.

    I am in awe of your work area. It’s so clean! I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s the unicorn of workspaces.

    1. Thank you Lacey. [ looks down at trousers and pings waistband] As for for the office? If I did not wrestle it into some sort of submission I would flounder. Seriously. There are probably 4 books at various stages on the go at any one time and I am lucky enough to have storage so that I can keep the other 3 books off the desk in the vain attempt to help me focus [ cue hysterical laughter…]

  2. thank you Nell and Janet – you are very kind.
    And my cunning plan to convince you that I am organised has succeeded! [ evil laugher]. The truth is – I am very lucky to have storage space for my books and files on shelves on the wall behind me and a filing cabinet for the rest. Just wait a week…. LOL. Nina x

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