The past two weeks until this Monday were without doubt two of the most frustrating weeks of my recent life. But oddly enough, as I pick up momentum and pace again, I realise I learned a couple of things and figured some stuff out that I maybe would not have without the pause.

So, the first week, my hard drive crashes and I realise that my back up routine has been far from rigorous and the last time I did any back up to my external drive was October. I am missing ALL the new work on the novel that I have done, some notes, some invoices and a bunch of other writing work. Thankfully, my mate and fellow freelance writer Marc Pienaar knows this guy… Ywain is his name and he rescues ALL my data from the hard drive. Except my email stuff which I figure isn’t that important anyway. All of it. I am very grateful. I owe him a bottle of single malt! So Most of Friday is spent reinstalling software, copying files across back onto my machine, finding a new back-up programme that actually works. Housework. One week of writing gone.

The next week, the red light on our network router is flashing. Telkom line fault. It takes until the Friday night to get back online. I can’t really get any work done because I am in research and development phase and I need to be online. But cos the adsl is down, I need to use my phone sim card to surf, but I need my phone on during the day, so I have to do all that early in the morning so I can be available during office hours on my phone. Goodbye writing time. I am also playing catch up on work from the week before and my routine is shot to hell. I need routine to work in a sustainable way on the book.

Two weeks of writing gone. The good news is that I picked it up again on Monday without a glitch. What is more, I had some book reviews and paged through a couple of books with elements in them of what I am looking to achieve. I found some extra ideas, a new layer to bubble wrap my story in. A good one.  Because I am now writing and people know, I am also having to describe what it is I am doing in a short, pithy way. An elevator pitch as it is sometimes known. Well, my book is a big ambitious bastard, but still, I need a two sentence elevator pitch and I am honing it nicely now, but it’s been hard. Those two down weeks gave me plenty of opportunities to work on it.

Anyway, the first quartet of chapters has been laid down. This week I have gone back and filled in the colour and the detail on chapter one. The other 3 will be done by Friday I hope. Which means the first self contained unit of the book will be in first draft stage. Four chapters: the setup, the intro, the handshake of the whole book. I will be re-working that some to make sure it provides the steps into what comes next that it needs to. I have realised my concept lends itself to this oddly modular approach. A bit weird, but from the point of view of the mechanics of writing, quite handy really!

Oh, I had posted a random piece about a guy looking into an empty fridge on Facebook that has found a home in chapter one… really pleased with that! Next week I hope to be able to tell you about how the second quartet is shaping up… Happy Wednesday everyone!