I’ve joined Peter M. Ball’s Sunday Circle to help keep my writing on track. Follow along here or join in the fun over at Peter’s blog, Man Versus Bear.

What am I working on this week?

Back into my second major rewrite for the year of a young adult novel. Changing a manuscript from third person POV to first is tedious but it’s also an interesting exercise in seeing what advantages and disadvantages each perspective brings to a story.  There are plenty of books on writing that talk about the differences each perspective brings but actually changing a completed manuscript from one to the other is making me look at the narrator in a whole new way. I think the pain will be worth it in the end.

I also did a bit of work on a short story this week. I like it but it’s missing something that I can’t quite pinpoint yet. I’ll just have to persevere.

What’s inspiring me this week?

This week for my book club I read Bill Hayes’ Insomniac City: New York, Oliver and me. It’s a memoir that is both a love letter to New York, as well as to the late Oliver Sacks. I was wary this might have been a gossipy book, peppered with salacious tidbits, cashing in on Sacks’ fame. But reading it was a lovely, pleasurable experience. Hayes writes beautifully and with such affection both for his adopted city and for his lover. I really looked forward to spending time with the book before and after work, and got lost in his descriptions of New York’s inhabitants, both those he met casually and those he formed longer relationships with. The inclusion of his random notes (Oliver had insisted Bill keep a diary, but he wasn’t too particular about it) added an extra element of intimacy to the book. For me, it’s the kind of book that makes me realise how much I love words and writing.

What action do I really need to take?

I need to keep a closer eye on my social media & internet time-wasting habits. Generally I’m pretty good but every now and then I find myself slipping, doing things like stupid meaningless facebook quizzes that are just a waste of time. I was onto my second in a row earlier this week before I stopped myself. If I find I need downtime from my writing or any other activity, I need to push my laptop away and pick up a book instead.