It’s official: I have The Fear

I have just over 2 months left to finish my first draft of The Mayor.

Sarah Andersen

Crap.

In an attempt to be positive about this, I’ve worked out the following:

  • According to my current plan, I only have 8 more chapters left to write.
  • Two of these ‘chapters’ are actually 1-2 page ‘interludes’.
  • I’m about halfway through one of these 8 chapters already.
  • I have a 4 day ‘writing retreat’ with K.F. Goodacre booked towards the end of November. The pseudo writing-retreat I took at the beginning of October resulted in 2 and a half chapters in just 4 days, so that bodes well.

So technically, that’s just 5 and a half more chapters I have left to write, plus 2 short interludey, epiloguey thingies… I’m currently aiming to complete at least a chapter a week so… that’s totally doable, right? I CAN DO THIS!

Positivity

Today I got back from the booziest family/long-weekend holiday ever, and I didn’t get any writing done at all. So consequently I’m feeling pretty low and rubbish at the moment. It could very well be the hangover talking.

PLEASE SEND ME POSITIVE, ENCOURAGING THOUGHTS, YOU GUYS. I NEED THEM ♥

Deadline-Induced Panic

Take care,

S.E. Berrow

P.S. I know you were probably expecting aWriterly Navel-Gazing question this week, so I’m sorry about that. I promise I’m working on it. The answer to Week 19 is a long one and I’m trying to make it as accessible and as spoiler-free as possible. Plus y’know… finishing The Mayor is currently taking up all my spare time — I’ve almost forgotten what my friends look like.

P.P.S. Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust is now in my possession, I repeat, THE BOOK OF DUST IS NOW IN MY POSSESSION ♥ I picked it up from Waterstones today. Have you got your paws on a copy yet? Have you finished it? Ahhhhh, I’m so excited! I feel like I’ve been waiting my entire life for this.


The ‘Deadline’ comic strip is by the wonderful Sarah Andersen aka. Sarah Scribbles. The other two graphics are sadly sourceless — please let me know if they are yours and would like to be credited, or for the image to be removed.

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Productivity Update (don’t get excited…) and HAMILTON!

Good afternoon, Dear Followers. I hope you’re all keeping well.

My 2017 has gotten off to a rather rocky start. After a wonderfully productive first week where I wrote something nearly every day, took up my Outlander colouring again and qualified as a First Aider for my workplace, I was then struck down by a viral infection on January 7th and have been off work since the 10th. To say I’ve had a nasty cough doesn’t quite do said cough justice. Cough Version 2.0 perhaps? Coughzilla? Regardless, it’s the kind of cough that racks your whole body, saps all your energy and drives other people as far away from you as possible. I have coughed so much that I have been sick. There were no less than three days last week where I was completely unable to leave my bed, let alone the house. I haven’t been able to read, write, or do anything much that requires movement or long periods of concentration. Throw insomnia, cabin fever, loneliness and intense boredom into the mix, and you’ve got the makings of a pretty miserable human being. I am eternally grateful to my boyfriend Mark and my wonderful mother who have been looking after me the whole time, bringing me food, medicine, changes of scenery and being on the other end of the phone for me to cry and splutter at.

Fortunately, I’ve been slowly on the mend since Monday and am feeling much better.The doctor signed me off for another week to recover, so all I can do is rest and recuperate. I’m still coughing like crazy, but today I left the house for the first time to buy myself food and I actually managed to make it all the way back to my house to cook it! A truly monumental achievement! Also, when I got back, I found that work had sent me some beautiful flowers, a Get Well Soon card, and a teddy bear. I was so moved that I cried. That’s how emotionally pathetic I am right now.

get-well-soon

So, very sadly, there hasn’t been much writing progress since that glorious first week in January, but I hope to begin again in earnest once I am fully recovered from Coughzilla.

Plus… it hasn’t all been bad! On Monday, despite completely forgetting and signing on to the internet a full two hours after they went on sale, I managed to secure the hottest tickets of the decade… Hamilton on the West End!

hamilton

Hamilton, for those of you who do not know, is a relatively new musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda that’s been blowing up Broadway since its release in 2015, and was inspired by the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by Rob Chernow. Alexander Hamilton was one of America’s Founding Fathers and also one of the most mysterious, largely due to his premature death at the hands of Vice President Aaron Burr in a deadly duel. Despite this he still managed to achieve an awful lot during his lifetime by helping to promote the Constitution, create the US financial system and write his way out of a salacious sex-scandal.

Because I am writing a book set during the 18th century (The Mayor), I am immediately drawn to anything related to the period. American history is of a particular fascination to me because I hear about it all the time through the medium of American television and books, but I have never been taught it formally, being English. Thus, when I learned from my friend Sophie that she had recently become obsessed with the Hamilton soundtrack, I asked her to send it to me so that I could listen and become obsessed too… which I did. Immediately.

The musical-style of Hamilton leans heavily — but not exclusively — on rap and hip-hop which, when combined with 18th century themes of clever writing and political spin, works supremely well! Check out this little trailer below that gives you a rough idea of what it’s all about:

Where was I? Oh yes! I managed to get tickets for myself and Mark to see Hamilton on the West End in London on my birthday next year!

OK, so it’s quite some time away — it hasn’t even been my birthday this year yet — but I’m sooooooo excited! Consequently, even if things all go pear-shaped this year, at least I can say I managed to get my paws on a pair of Hamilton tickets ♥

Here’s to a happy, healthy rest-of-2017!

Lots of love,

S.E. Berrow


For more information on Hamilton and 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda, please visit the below:

http://www.hamiltonbroadway.com/ (Broadway)
http://www.hamiltonthemusical.co.uk/ (West End)
http://www.linmanuel.com/

Bonus! Tweet from the Hamilton cast (because Trump-bothering is always fun):