Well it's April...
...and you will note the complete absence of the promised book.
But so what? It was always an artificial deadline, as well as an optimistic one, and while I am disappointed not to have made it, it changes nothing.
Even the best of writers get into this situation from time to time, and the hardest thing is to stay motivated as you hear the deadline whizz by (to paraphrase Douglas Adams). I know lots of people who have started books and not finished them. In fact I know people who have multiple first five chapters on their hard drives that are going nowhere. Staying motivated is hard when you are busy, when you are getting only a few thousand words a week done, when the writing is shit, when the end seems a distance away, when you look back at what you've already written and realise the scale of the rewrites you're going to have to do, and of course when you have new ideas that seems more immediately enticing and exciting.
So how do you stay motivated?
Well, the truth is that the motivation comes and goes. I don't think anyone can stay motivated relentlessly for the time it takes to write a novel. For me, the trick is to keep writing when I'm not motivated. For all that I have probably picked up some bad habits by ghostwriting, and for all that it takes up a huge chunk of my time, it has taught me to write through boredom, exhaustion and total lack of motivation - because it has to get done or I don't get paid. My own books do not have the same weight of financial necessity, but I can take the attitude I use when ghostwriting - that this has to be done - and apply it to my own stuff. If you only write when you're really feeling it then you will, of course, write better, but also much more slowly. Writing when you know you're probably not going to write well is counter-intuitive but you can always fix it later. You may be unmotivated now, but in the long run you will regret letting it go.
It's been over a week since I worked on The Werewolves of Priory Grange but the last time I did I was really pleased with my work. I've now re-introduced a plotline that was only touched on briefly at the start and the werewolf is now a far more active part of the narrative. I'm still wondering about the time it takes for it to get there. I don't want to jump the gun on the slow build but I think the build ought to be creepier, I've been doing some research on other gothic novels and learning techniques I can use to build a suspenseful and oppressive atmosphere for my heroine. But all that will have to wait for the next draft.
I'll be back on it this afternoon and I feel under pressure to do good work. But good or bad, the work will done.