Right, time to get serious: focus.
I have been working on my latest book, The Story of Gloucester Pubs, for months. Years even. And there is still much to do before it is complete.
It is distressing that it has taken this long; my last book, The Story of Gloucester, only took a little over six months to write in total. So what’s the difference?
Well, it’s true that this book has required significantly more original research. I have had to pore over ancient tomes which have been buried in the bowels of the Gloucestershire archives without seeing the light of day for centuries. I have had to agonise over the bizarre writing style of seventeenth century scribes and clerks and check seemingly endless years of licensing records. And then there is the essential field research, which takes much time to do and to write up. And, of course, much more time to get over the hangover.
But this isn’t the main reason that this book has taken so long.
No, the main reason is that I have discovered a wide range of new distractions. I confessed a little while back about my tendency to procrastinate. Confession is supposed to be good for the soul, but it hasn’t helped, I’m still at it. I’ve recently been on holiday – I may have mentioned it – which meant no work on the book for a couple of weeks. I then bought an iPod and spent the next two weeks dedicatedly ripping and copying my music collection; strangely compelling and addictive, but not productive. And of course there is Facebook, Twitter and Blogging to distract me, none of which I did when I was writing my last book.
But now it is time to put all of that behind me and get on with it. I have agreed a deadline of 1 December with my publisher. More to the point, I have promised my wife that I’ll be finished by 1 December so I stop using it as an excuse to avoid work around the house. So there’s no two ways about it: I’ve got to knuckle down and get it done. And 1 December is only 7 weeks away! Oh my god, so much to do and so little time!
No more procrastination.
No more Facebook, no more Twitter.
And absolutely, positively, no more blogging.
But wait, what’s this? Oh no, it’s a blog….