Natasha Oakley - British Romance Author

Writer of tug-at-the-heartstrings, feel-good romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon

Friday, June 16, 2006

Life in a 'deadline' cave

Trish and I promised we wouldn't update our blogs until we'd finished our respective books. I just want it to be noted that she buckled first!

First off, it's so hot and, being the celt I am, I don't like it. I find it difficult to breathe and my head aches pretty much constantly. Currently I'm spending my days scuttling from shady area to shady area and debating whether the need for a through-flow of air is worth the risk of burglary. Isn't life a tricky balance???

And if all this was not enough to contend with I have a book due in at the end of this month. I actually prefer writing under pressure because it seems to give me permission to shut myself away and ignore all the million and one things I ought to be doing for my family. I do wonder, though, whether I may have taken it to extremes this time. They're in danger of forgetting who I am.

I've been trying the Trish Wylie approach this week. She's a night-time writer. But, last night, I'm afraid I wilted at about 2.30am. The previous night was better - I made it right through to morning.

There are lots of advantages: the phone doesn't ring, there is no-one to disturb you and it's cooler. The downside is I feel jet-lagged because, unlike Trish, my day begins at 6.00am with the usual flurry of 'get-to-school-on-time' activities.

Still, I shall persevere if only because the hourly MSN message she sends stating her current word count is very motivational - if a little depressing. I'm consoling myself with the fact that her deadline is Monday. Ha!


  • At 8:39 am, Anonymous Kate Hardy said…

    Know what you mean about writing in this heat. Ick. Lots of cold drinks and sitting six inches away from a tower fan helped.

    I'm an early morning writer - before everyone else gets up to interrupt me with a 'where's my schoolbag' or 'have you done my sandwiches?' or 'have you seen my car keys?' By 10pm you don't get much sense out of me.

    Good luck with the deadline. Go you!

  • At 12:18 pm, Blogger Michelle Styles said…

    I can't write at night. No way. Sometimes, I scribble at night but the bulk of my writing is done in the morning.
    Luckily Northumberland is v. cool and my study is at the back of the house. In the winter I freeze and am apt to be wrapped in two jumpers and an assortment of blankets, but in the summer, it is bliss.
    Good luck. I know you can di it.

  • At 2:27 am, Anonymous Sharon J said…

    How on earth do you stay alive if you write all night and deal with family/home/errands etc during the day? Or do you hit the sack once the kids are out of the door? I suppose it wouldn't be any different to doing nightwork, really. I worked 9pm-6am for a year or so while the kids were at primary school but it didn't work too well for me. I'd go to bed at 10am after walking them school, but by 12 I'd be wide awake again. Come weekend, I'd be so knackered I'd spend most of it in bed.

    Crossing fingers it works for you. Anything that helps the words get down on paper has to be a good thing.

  • At 2:35 am, Blogger Nicola Marsh said…

    Have missed you guys! Hurry out of the deadline cave please :)

    My work 'day' starts at 8.30pm when 2 y.o. in bed. I'm used to it now but I quit at a decent hour like 11. No all nighters for me...I'd be a wreck the next day!

  • At 7:34 am, Blogger Natasha said…

    Sharon J - Hmm, yes, that appears to be what's happening to me! Trouble is, the school day is so fragmented.

    And, Nic, I hate to tell you this, but that's what I used to do. Now the older ones stay up. It's really very inconvenient. *g* And even though they promise they'll let you write, they're not disturbing you, "but, Mum, I just want ....."

  • At 7:51 am, Blogger Liz Fielding said…

    Actually I have a very old "kid", with a habit of sticking his head around the door and saying "Can you just take a look at this..."

    Nothing I do or say can seem to ram home the message that every time he does that sets me back half an hour while I work myself back, mentally, to where I was. On the whole, though, I'd rather cope with him than five kids on a school morning...

  • At 11:33 am, Blogger Natasha said…

    Oh dear! There's no hope for me then. My big 'kid' pops his head round the door to say, 'do you have time for a glass of wine and a chat?' How do you say 'no' to that???


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