Susan Grossey

Room for improvement

I know that I have been a sorry disappointment to you in recent months – very little blogging, and even less writing of the latest Sam Plank book, “Plank 7”.  The latest on that is that I have written seven chapters, with a total of about 13,000 words, and I am reasonably happy with one of my plot strands.  The main obstacle to writing is that I am, against the odds, working pretty much full time – I’m certainly not complaining, when so many are struggling to make a living, but it means that at the end of the day and then the week I have very little mental energy left for imaginative writing.

To remedy that, I am currently working my way through a book called “The Organised Writer: How to Stay on Top of All Your Projects and Never Miss a Deadline”, by Antony Johnston.  When my husband saw it arrive, he was surprised, as I am famed for my organisational skills/obsession.  (Surely everyone has a “Dish of the Day” list pinned on the fridge, showing what every meal for the coming week will be, so that we can alternate meat/fish/veggie, and potato/rice/pasta, and avoid food waste.  No?  Ah, just me then.)  And it’s true – I don’t need much help with record-keeping, plotting, invoicing and the rest.  But I do need to find a way to prioritise my writing, so that I don’t end up with perfectly filed paperwork and no energy left to write a single paragraph.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

The other aspect of life as a writer that has been exercising me recently is how wonderful it is to have an alternative world to which I can escape.  When I am sick to the back teeth of hearing about the US election and about corruption in the UK government, I can leave the modern world entirely and spend a happy hour or two reading and writing about the horse trade in London in the 1820s.  I pity those who are not readers or writers and are therefore stuck in the moment.  And as I read about Sam’s contemporaries, I do wonder whether ignorance was a sort of bliss: were people happier when they weren’t bombarded constantly with information about politicians and celebrities and sportsmen?  When they knew their family and their neighbours, and only occasionally did news about a world leader filter through – it was certainly a smaller life, but perhaps it was a happier one…

Published by


  1. Roy McCarthy Avatar
    Roy McCarthy

    Indeed Susan, I’m sure the information overload has much to do with all the mental health issues one hears about. I’m in no danger on that front, skimming enough news to get the gist and no more.

    Escaping into writing and/or reading is a luxury that comes cheap.

    1. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

      I find that the bit that suffers, Roy, is my imagination. I think I’m expending so much mental energy – conscious and subconscious – on the worries of the world that I have no bandwidth left! It’s something I’m trying to address as I agree with you that it would be a welcome and healthy escape. I try to skim the news, but I live with a news junkie and he insists on news first thing and last thing every day…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s