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I go back to work on Monday, and I was determined that one of the things I wanted to achieve during this festive break was discovering a workable way to write (and enjoy writing) “Plank 3” while working full-time.  I don’t want it to become a chore, as it is supposed to be a pleasurable hobby – but yesterday I found myself panicking.  Here I am already in 2015, I thought – the very year of publication for “Plank 3” – and I’ve only written a thousand words and the plot is still a bit holey and I can’t find out how much a hackney coach licence cost in 1826 and Martha is going to lose patience with me.  I will confess that I lost some sleep over it last night, but then this morning, sanity returned.

It sounds terribly unartistic and unromantic, but I decided that the way to cope with the overwhelming-ness of “Plank 3” is to cut him down to size.  And I worked out that if I write 2,000 words a week, by the end of June I will have nearly the whole book written.  2,000 words a week is surely manageable; after all, I wrote half that the day before yesterday and barely broke a sweat.  Of course some weeks it will be harder: I regularly go away on work trips from Monday to Friday, and am very tired on those evenings.  But with just 500 words an evening, it will be done.  And then some weeks I will have more time and can “write ahead” on my target.

I am not kidding myself that this will result in 2,000 perfect, publishable words each week – but it will give me something to improve.  So onwards and upwards: only 1,000 words to go this week, and I have all of Sunday to do them.  I’ll let you know how the new word-counting regime goes.