WIP

Journal: In search of new

New year, new words… I hope. (Can it really be February already?)

I’m in that weird place I haven’t been very often in my creative writing career — between novels. And it shows, because I don’t quite know what to do with myself.

flowers-1911205_1280

The “completed” novel has been with readers for feedback for the past few months. Most of the comments are now in, and I have many good suggestions for improvement and clarification. So far, no one has suggested anything that demands a full rewrite (phew — I’ve already written three drafts). Most of the feedback aligns or complements each other, with few conflicting views. This is a good thing!

So, on the whole, I’m pretty happy. And I’m rather keen to get stuck in and fix it all up, make it prettier.

But I’m holding back on the final revision… for two reasons.

The first reason is that I have a tendency to work on the same thing over and over and over. I much prefer to revise than create anything new. For me, new is really really hard. It’s unknown and I feel out of control. There’s no guarantee of meeting my own expectations with a first draft, let alone anyone else’s.

Refining an existing story, on the other hand, is still hard, but ultimately more rewarding, because I can see things taking shape as I work towards achieving a certain vision.

But I recognise that the whole point of being an author is to write new things to satisfy the voracious appetite of readers (or so I hope) — so I need to get better (and faster) at writing new things, instead of getting fixated on revision and perfection.

The idea is thus to write a follow-up novel right away, so that it’s past even first draft form by the time I publish the first. This will be beneficial whether I am successful in obtaining a commercial publisher (who will be more confident in me as a debut author if a follow-up is on the way) or decide to indie-publish (where publishing frequency is one of the keys to success).

The second reason for holding back on revision is even more practical. I want to be able to foreshadow any elements I introduce in a follow-up novel, which will be related to the first. After all, I may create some amazing thing that needs to be at least present in the initial book. (In fact, I already have.)

The next book

Which brings me to the next book. You may recall I was going to tackle a direct sequel to the first book during NaNoWriMo last November. So why isn’t it finished already, dammit?

I wrote about 21.5K words during NaNoWriMo and then conked out. This is partly because NaNo pace is a very fast pace for me to work. It’s a big effort for me to churn out 1500-2000 words a day on a regular basis. I really really wish I was one of those authors who could churn out 10K words a day, but I’m just not. Alas.

Even if I have an idea of where the story is supposed to be going, I still need lots of rumination time between scenes to make sure it stays heading in the right direction. (I guess I don’t trust my subconscious enough to let it have free rein.)

But with my current daily cafe writing routine, 1500 words a day of rough draft isn’t impossible… There was in fact a second reason I conked out.

One of the goals I set myself during NaNo was to not worry too much about what I was writing. I wanted to see if I could give my right brain control and see what came out of it. I was completely prepared for a whole lot of junk with some nuggets of gold.

And this is essentially what I got (or so I thought). The problem was that, once I decided I didn’t like where the story was headed, I lost interest in it and my creative juices stopped flowing. I could see a few things I liked buried in a whole lot of drivel. So I stopped about two weeks into the challenge.

Another book entirely

After a few weeks break, I started thinking about a different character entirely. A new character. And I started to wonder whether the next book would be something other than a direct sequel. Definitely linked and keeping to the overall major themes, but coming at the “big picture” story from another angle.

As a result, I’ve spent the past couple of months ruminating on how to approach the follow-up book as part of a mosaic series. Whose story is it? What is the major conflict? What’s the best way to link it directly to the first book? How does it key in with the overarching series story? Which of my existing characters get to play? (Who doesn’t?)

So far all I know is that I want it to explore a particular corner of this world I’ve created. But I don’t actually have the discreet story yet. Gah!

And then last week I read over the 21.5K NaNo words to discover they’re not as bad or irrelevant as I thought. Maybe I was onto something after all?

So NOW I’m pondering how to mesh the original follow-up story with the new ideas I’ve been having… Yep. Circles. Round and round.

One of these days — hopefully soon — I will get my act together and start writing this accursed follow-up book. It had better be soon, because I really really REALLY miss my daily writing sessions.

Journal: shaking in my boots

I finally sent the novel I’ve been working on to some writing friends for feedback. Huzzah! Now I’m shaking in my snazzy red boots.

redboots

It’s amazing how my mind flipped after clicking ‘send’.

Before hitting ’send’, I was pretty happy with the general shape of the draft. I’ve been dying for someone to read it — to tell me what’s working and what’s not. I’ve been hungry for suggestions for improvement. I’m ready for and in need of external perspectives. Even so, I was confident the story was holding together. Not terrible. I read it through over the past couple of months (while I was procrastinating over the final scene) and parts of it even made me smile.

Immediately after hitting ‘send’, all my insecurities surged to the fore and now all I can see are the holes: the pedestrian narrative, the mundane dialogue, the trite story. I feel like my soul is laid bare ready to be flayed. Why would anyone waste time reading anything I wrote?

And did I mention I sent this to friends?

I really have forgotten how nerve-wracking it is putting your work in front of people. How exposed it makes you feel. The purpose of writing anything is to forge a connection with readers — but what if you fail? What if your work is completely crap and no one ever, anywhere in the entire universe, likes it? WHAT IF —

OK stop. This is stupid. It can’t possibly be as bad as all that… (fingers are crossed)

To maintain perspective, I keep telling myself the following:

  • Nothing is ever perfect. The whole point of asking people to read it is to identify the areas that need improvement. (It takes a village, right?)
  • Every reader is looking for something different. So, my book might not be Game of Thrones… but, guess what? I don’t even like GoT. It’s too dark and violent and filled with unlikeable characters for my taste. Some readers might want that. Others might prefer a gentle fantasy with moral dilemmas, a bit of romance and a happy ending.
  • Not everyone can win the Booker. It’s easy to read an amazing book and self-flagellate because there is no way in hell I could ever write like that. Even though this does happen often enough, the truth is that many authors do not inspire such envy in me… While I certainly don’t aspire to be mediocre, I can’t help but notice that a great number of published authors are. (I guess my point here, in a roundabout way, is that story is more important for most readers than writing craft.)

Bottom line: Once I’ve taken feedback on board, made this book the best it can be, (figured out the best way forward from a publishing perspective…), I just need to find my readers. I aspire to be regarded as a good writer. But, more importantly, I ultimately want to connect with that sub-group of readers who like what I like.

(Having said that, if this is how nervous I am when friends are reading it, how much worse will it be if/when strangers get their hands on it?)

Meanwhile, my thoughts are now turning to the next book in the series (this is, after all, fantasy, folks!). My intention is to spend October planning, ready to tackle a draft (or part thereof) of a sequel during NaNoWriMo in November. I think it’ll do me good to write something new for a while. First drafts are so damn hard.

Journal ~ Festivities, finishing and The Force Awakens

Festivities

Almost 20 years ago, I made a Christmas Advent calendar. I spent hours on the decoration, which is created from cut-up pieces of coloured paper, and it came out better than I ever imagined. Behind each door is a compartment for little daily surprises in the lead-up to Christmas.

Advent calendar - handmade by me

Advent calendar – handmade by me

For the past decade or so, I’ve been filling it up with gifts and chocolates each December for my various nieces and nephews — first one family and then the other. But this year, one of my sisters decided she would fill it for me as my Christmas present.

I can’t express how lovely it has been to open one of those little doors each day and receive a gift. There have been plenty of chocolates (ferrero rocher), but also rolls of washi tape, cute stationery items, a tin of puzzle cards, Christmas decorations, bookmarks, a magnet decorated by my nephew, silicone egg poachers, and a TARDIS tin with peppermints! Then, on Christmas day, a gorgeous pendant on a chain.

It’s felt like Christmas all month.


Finishing

On the writing front, I’ve had a very productive month. Since declaring my intention a month ago to finish the second draft of my novel by Christmas, I actually managed to achieve this goal!

It’s not ‘finished’, of course. I now have to go over it and fix quite a few things. For one, there are aspects of my Mongolian research to be worked in. For another, I invented quite a few aspects of my ‘magic system’ in the final chapters, so now I have to go and retrofit this throughout the entire thing – gah!

But, on the whole, I’m pretty happy with the overall shape, so at this point in time I’m planning an edit and not a rewrite. (Famous last words.)


The Force Awakens

Like a large number of other people, I recently caught a screening of Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens. And I liked it a lot.

It’s immensely fun, and very reminiscent of the originals, right down to several plot points. I very much enjoyed Harrison Ford’s reprisal of Han Solo — probably the highlight for me. It’s also refreshing to have a resourceful female character as main protagonist, but I think they could have taken equality and diversity a lot further than they did.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

In my view, the fact the story builds on the platform established by the originals (as opposed to filling in backstory as did episodes 1-3) automatically gives it an advantage. In many ways, it’s a rehash of the same story, told in the same light-hearted abandon — and this is probably why it works for everyone who was so disappointed with eps 1-3. But it’s not really taking things anywhere new (yet). I hope the next movie does go somewhere a bit more unexpected…

Journal ~ Lying on the couch doing nothing (and why it’s important)

I am lying on the couch doing nothing.

At least, I was before the urge to tell everyone about my state of nothingness rose to the fore and I grabbed my computer out of the bag that’s never too far from my side.

Nothing. Mulling. Daydreaming. Writing in my head.

phillipisland

Phillip Island – south coast

This is one of the things I love about retreating to Phillip Island on my own. Much of my urgency to achieve things drains away and I descend into a kind of dream state. Time no longer matters and I drift from one moment to the next, very content to let it happen as it will.

Best of all — and somewhat ironically — it’s often extremely productive.

Take today for example.

Admittedly today was helped by the disappearance of a work thing I usually have to do on Friday mornings. But that meant I could sleep in a little, before taking my usual trek along the gorgeous beach into Cowes (green bag and computer in tow) to one of my cafes of choice, where coffee and breakfast were waiting.

Even though this is what I usually do (more or less) on a Friday, the change of location — the beach, the birds, the breeze — made it so much more of a cathartic experience.

And even though the coffee was a bit dodgy today, it wasn’t enough to throw me off stride. Three hours and a goodly sum of words later, I trekked back along the beach to my parents’ empty island house and flopped down on the couch to do… nothing.

And now I have a blog post.

Do you ever find yourself attempting to cram so much into your day that you take half an hour (maybe an hour, even) simply to map out on paper how you’re going to achieve it… refusing to acknowledge it’s impossible, even though deep inside you know there’s no way you’ll get it all done? It can make you a wee bit crazy.

This is where I was at before driving down to the island yesterday. In fact, I was debating not coming at all, because (I told myself) what’s the point driving for two hours just to do all the things I’d have to do at home anyway?

In particular, there was a bunch of work things I should be doing, client tasks both small and large nagging at me. Not to mention stories to critique for my workshopping group, blog posts I want to write (other than this one!) and fretting because it’s been over a week since I posted, my own novel to work on…

So, yes, when I looked at all this stuff I had to do, I thought I might as well stay home.
But I’d earmarked these few days for a retreat a while back, and my brain just kept juggling all the stuff, including the fact I’d be relocating to do them.

So I went with it.

And yesterday was frustrating, because I left home much later than I wanted to (than I’d planned to), but the moment I got here, all the pressure to tick tick tick the boxes seemed to fade into the ether…

No more crazy.

Okay, so I was lying on the couch just now, trying to rev myself up into doing one of the work things, now that I’ve at least got some words down (and it’s been an abortive week for writing for various reasons), and maybe I still will (with a glass of red to help), or maybe I won’t (I’ll still have the red); but just lounging and mulling for half an hour or so seemed to be hitting the mark.

I recently heard these periods of downtime labelled white space (via a great article on Writer Unboxed advocating daily naps!). Nor is this the first time I’ve expounded the virtues of taking time out at Phillip Island for a few days to refill the creative well.

But I do think I underestimated how beneficial to my overall mental health these retreats are for me — with or without company. I haven’t had a holiday this year, other than a few days here and there. It’s been a year of juggling priorities — work that pays the bills with writing with the whole business-owner learning curve — and I’ve been very focused on productivity.

My work days tend to be very structured (albeit flexibly), designed to ensure I’m achieving as much as possible. I suppose it’s the only way, as a freelancer, that I would indeed achieve anything.

But it does make it hard to relax, even at those times I’m meeting friends or family for coffee. In the back of my mind, the clock is ticking and I’m not being productive. If I can’t put it in my timesheet, it’s “wasted” time.

Not when I retreat to Phillip Island though. There’s a sign in the main street in Cowes that says, “Relax, you’re on island time”. That’s exactly how I feel! I can have a completely unstructured day and that’s okay.

Better than okay.

Because it doesn’t actually matter if I don’t get all that stuff done. The world will not end. (Gee, I really need to chill out!)


Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I feel it’s past time for a progress update on the novel revision I’ve been working on. My last check-in occurred when I decided to strip back events in the middle section, rather than expand upon them. I think this is going pretty well.

It did involve some post-it note planning and rather a lot of scene juggling, but I’ve finally figured out an order of events that works (I think). So for the past two months, I’ve been making good progress — in quality if not quantity. The new middle section bears some resemblance to the original, but there is also a lot that is new — essentially a deeper treatment of those elements I’m retaining. And I’ve introduced a new sexy character who is a claithwielder. Yum.

What do you to take time out? How often do you stop to smell the roses?

Sunday Journal: Progress and the career juggling act

Last time I checked in for Sunday (er, Monday) Journal I was tearing my hair out, but the past month has been looking up. Reasonable progress on my novel revision, another TWO weekend retreats to Phillip Island… a bit too much ‘dayjob’ work though.

On the writing front, I’ve spent a fair deal of time planning and writing notes; going back and tweaking things in the first part, while mulling over how to rein in the second.

As a result I’m on the way to being quite happy with the first part of this novel. I’m still editing bits and pieces, filling in gaps and so forth; but on the whole it seems to be hanging together.

As for the second/middle part, I have decided to strip it back.

You see, I’ve been letting myself be constrained by ‘history’ as it stands in a subsequent book, which I’ve already written. Even though I embarked on this ‘prequel’ exercise intending to re-envisage that first-written book, it’s hard to think completely objectively and laterally. Certain things I had already consciously changed. But there was one aspect of events I was having trouble making fit in this book.

And then I realised this particular thing either a) didn’t need to happen exactly the same (and, frankly, it wouldn’t make a huge deal of difference to the ‘history’ in the subsequent book), or b) it could happen — but later. After all, didn’t I not so long ago decide I needed to have a middle book?

Phew. So now I have a more streamlined first book with good scope for escalation in the second. It makes so much more sense.

This opening book was starting to feel conceptually unwieldy and clumsy and chopping it in the middle did not seem like the answer. I much prefer to keep the original arc and structure, but with cleaner lines.

I’m also managing to squeeze in writing time on most days, despite a fairly heavy workload over the past couple of months. (Heavier than I want, anyway.) Somehow I’m more productive overall on the days I write than on the days I don’t. I think it has a lot to do with the fact I’m happier if I’ve spent some time working on the novel, which makes it a bit easier to push on with the contracted work.

Today’s a great example of that. I had assigned today for work and maybe some writing… But when it came down to it, I was too resentful of spending a Sunday working, so I went to the cafe to work on fiction for a while first. Then I came back and knuckled down to do some work later in the afternoon (because… deadlines!).

So on the whole I feel like everything is going well, although I still wish I was making faster progress with this revision overall. At least I have now commenced work on the middle section — huzzah!

Monday Journal: Revision rumblings

I talk a lot about how much I enjoy the novel revision process. And I really do. I love building the story up and out and working in the detail, weaving the strands together, making them sing. As with nailing a well-tuned harmony, there’s a thrill in getting it right.

But… sometimes it can be mind-bending. Like when your ideas multiply (up and out and…) and suddenly the first part of the novel is about twice as long as you intended.

And… like when you’ve worked that opening section so it’s singing (mostly), but all those tweaks and improvements mean cascading changes to everything that comes next.

This is, of course, where I’m at now. I set out to revise the first draft of this novel I’ve been working on, confident it was in reasonable shape (although there was a lot I wanted to do with it). And so I made a few notes and set about sharpening and fixing and editing the opening section. I wrote a lot of new scenes. Deleted a lot too. Layered in many of the things missing from the first draft. Made it better.

The major turning point at the end of the section remained the same… oh, wait. Not quite. There was one key difference. But even that doesn’t affect what comes next in any large way. Nothing in and of itself was a major change in terms of events unfolding. And yet, somehow everything is different.

The first section was the easy part.

Now I’m contemplating the next section — the middle section. Even though I’ve laid a first draft down, there is still so much to explore and discover (and change), it’s hard to know where to start. Hang the ‘kid in a lolly shop’ (that’s candy store for the uninitiated). It’s ‘Ellen hits London’ for the first time. (Only it’s not, er, London, it’s this cool city I’ve made up…)

One of the hardest things for me is judging what is good enough to stay and what gets revised/revamped/re-envisaged. Surely everything can be improved? I invariably can think of a new and better way of doing everything…

And then there’s the length problem. There’s so much I want to add into this middle section, does this mean I should cut my losses now and split what was meant to be one book into two? It’s a conundrum. (For the moment, I’m not taking that option. I’ll just have to rein it in somehow.)

But yay me for getting to the end of the first section! There are few minor tweaks to go back and make and then it’s onwards with the next bit. Which is going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. And hopefully better.

PS – This was supposed to be a Sunday Journal post, but turns out I couldn’t watch half a season of Veronica Mars and write at the same time, so… Here we are.

Sunday journal ~ Infinite possibilities (Oh, my!)

Inspired. Energised. A wee bit daunted.

That’s how I feel right now. It’s been one of those weekends. A fabulous weekend — don’t mistake me. But my mind is now spinning like a wind wheel.

Colorful wind wheelBright and shiny? Yes. But spinning oh so very fast.

The weekend started with a most satisfactory cafe writing session, with company, eggs, coffee and words. I progressed sedately with my revision. All going to plan, thank you very much.

On Saturday afternoon I celebrated at the launch party for my dear friend Lisa Ireland‘s debut novel — Breaking the Drought (Escape Publishing). I hope to have Lisa visit here in the near future to talk about her book; I am so incredibly pleased for her! It is of course a reminder of what I’m striving for… onwards, onwards.

Then I hung out with another dear friend, fellow fantasy writer and critique partner Tracey Rolfe. Tracey is the one person I have permitted to read the messy first draft of my current WIP — which makes her the ideal person to thrash out ideas with.

And how did we thrash those ideas…

I’ve been working on this novel and the one that is supposed to come after it (but which I wrote first) for quite a while now. This means certain characters, events and plot points are ingrained in my mind. Like stone. Immovable.

Until I remember after a few glasses of wine and a dose of objectivity and cake that these are novels, out of my mind, and anything can happen.

What if X doesn’t die? (I never wanted him to anyway.)
What if Y does this instead of that?
What if… What if… What if… ????

And suddenly there are infinite possibilities as to what could happen after events in the current novel, whereas before it seemed like a foregone conclusion.

Suddenly you have a whole extra novel unfurling. Squeezing itself between novel A and B like an impetuous intruder and a whole lot of work.

Suddenly you feel like you’re at the steering wheel of a ship that can hightail across the ocean to any port you so desire.

But which one? And how exactly do I get there?

Told you! Spinning spinning spinning.

None of this is a foregone conclusion, I hasten to add. I might yet decide that X still has to die and there will be no extra novel between A and B. But it has been liberating and a bunch of fun to wildly brainstorm some alternatives — and wonder about what else these characters could get up to.

For the now the brainstorming and thrashing will continue for a bit, while I figure out whether any of these wild imaginings have merit, or whether they were the product of too much cake.

It’s good to shake things up a bit from time to time, I reckon. (And I console myself with the knowledge that we shook up Tracey’s current WIP as well!)

Sunday journal ~ push and shove

Gosh, another month has passed already… it’s been a busy one. I’m still juggling creative endeavours with paid freelance and contracting work — but as the latter gains momentum, the whole balance is becoming trickier.

Business momentum is good — yay! Displacement of writing time is not — meh…

I’m longing for a writing retreat right about now. Longing to transport myself away somewhere (the island, perhaps?) to bury myself in this revision and shove the rest of the world to one side for a while.

I’ve almost finished revising the section I’m calling ‘Act 1’, which ends with the first major turning point. I wanted to have it finished by the end of this month, but I’ve been thwarted by a troublesome new scene that is taking ages to massage into submission.

The challenge with revising, I’ve found, is inserting new scenes or modifying existing ones without sending the story off course (as far as the rest of it is concerned). There’s a domino effect when you start tinkering in the middle, and if you’re not careful you can end up faced with major story reworking.

This is all good, as long as it’s a definite improvement and will make the story stronger. But sometimes I wonder whether my changes are an improvement. Or is it just a matter of grass being greener (bright and shiny!) , and all that?

What if these changes are making things worse?

In this particular case, however, it’s a necessary new scene, so there’s no getting out of it. And it’s an important scene. So I just need to keep plugging away. Even if it does feel as though I’m picking up grains of diamond out of sand with chopsticks…

I’m still feeling the love, though, so that’s a good thing.

Time management is something I’ll need to keep working on, though. At the moment  it feels like an uphill battle to cram the creative work around the contract work… or am I trying to cram the contract work around the creative work?

It’s kind of moot. Bottom line: there’s a lot of push and shove going on, leaving me a tad frazzled and ‘Grrrr Argh’ at times. Which helps nobody, of course.

My mission for July, therefore, is to figure out the right balance and be at peace with it. And if I don’t get the balance right? Be at peace with it anyway.

Lucky Seven – snippet from the WIP

Today I bring you a very short snippet from my work in progress, courtesy of the Lucky Seven game. I’ve been tagged by Liv Rancourt, who posted a snippet from her quarterfinal entry in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Hell… The Story.

Mine is still very much a work in progress, unpolished and raw. I’ve recently written a new opening scene, from which I’ve selected the snippet below (approx 7 lines from page 7 of the WIP – as per the rules). Alas, I still don’t have a working title yet.

Some background: This is a fantasy novel about Adehl, a young woman who has been living a lie so that she might ride with an idealistic spiritual group and wield earth magic. But then she makes a decision that will cause her entire life to unravel and seed a secret reform movement…

Doneyah’s mouth hung half open and the fingers on Cloud’s bridle spasmed. Adehl felt an insane urge to laugh. She had imagined a hundred different reactions to her announcement. Leave the Vuusah? Impossible! Once the Vuusah have chosen you there is no going back.

It wasn’t true, of course. They just didn’t like to acknowledge it.

“What do you mean, leaving?” Doneyah’s voice grew louder, almost a growl, and she shook her head as though to clear it. “When will you be back?”

“I’m not coming back.” Adehl gathered the reins in one hand and prepared to fend off Doneyah with the other.

And off she goes to screw up her life and give hope to other minority groups in the process.

The rules of the Lucky Seven game are:

  • Go to page 7 or 77 in your current WIP… Go to line 7
  • Post on your blog the next 7 sentence or 7 lines—as they are!
  • Tag 7 people to do the same

It’s true a snippet this short doesn’t tell you too much, and there needs to be a degree of flexibility to arrive at an excerpt that hangs together and is interesting; but it’s fun all the same.

I’m not going to tag anyone specific for this one, because I think anyone and everyone should feel completely free to select a snippet from their WIP if they choose to. It’s a great option for a post — so if you’re a writer reading this, consider yourself tagged!

Sunday journal ~ the other client

I’ve been writing steadily over the past two weeks. That is, I’ve been putting in a couple of hours most days, mostly in cafes. I’ve been treating ‘creative endeavours’ (including ‘cafe writing’) as another client in this new freelance/self-employed life of mine; another client with its own timesheet category. Not only does this log the time I actually spend working on creative endeavours (and give me a target), but it acknowledges creative endeavours as a valid and productive part of each day.

I’ve said many times on this blog that I prefer the revision process to writing the first draft, and nothing has changed my mind yet. The pressure of ‘what the hell is going to happen?’ is replaced with ‘How can this happen better?’.

Right now I’m fairly fixated on the revision and finding it much easier to utilise small time windows. In fact, hitting a cafe for a 2h writing gig seems to be the highlight of my day (despite the fact it’s costing me a small fortune in coffee and eggs!), and is also great for breaking up the work-at-home day, which can get a little tedious.

The revision so far seems to consist of writing new opening/early scenes, which leads to rewriting/re-envisioning existing scenes to fit, while trying desperately to nudge events back on track to line up with the existing scenes that are mostly working. I’m trying not to change scenes for the sake of it, but invariably I can always think of something better than what is already down…

But I’m pretty happy with how it’s going so far. I think the opening sequence is now leaner and cleaner, with better defined objectives, motivations and stakes. I’m focusing on clarifying muddied waters and establishing things deeper.

The new computer (Macbook Air) is going wonderfully well. It has 12+ hours of battery, and I love the way it flashes from standby to on almost instantaneously. This makes it very easy to whip out for even ten minutes at a time. I’m only using it for creative endeavours so far, since the migration of business/work material is something of a task. But that will come soon.

In the meantime, it’s compact and light, making it easy to carry around. In fact, the first time I came back from a cafe I panicked for 5 seconds that I’d left my computer behind, because it’s so thin I couldn’t find it in my bag!

So all is going well in my creative world right now. I love the fact that I want to be working on this novel and it doesn’t feel like a chore at all.