I absolutely loved my sabbatical. My employer, the University of Salford, recognised that my work was of value and allowed me a whole five months off teaching, meetings and most of my emails so that I could get on with some research and some writing. And because I am employed as a creative writing lecturer, quite a lot of that time was spent on my novel.
However, there was also a creepy thought at the back of my mind. This is all fine and good, but what next? I was part way through editing another book. So, finish the sabbatical novel (not far off, now actually) and that other book – then what?
I shouldn’t have worried. I now have this To Do list:
Finish the sabbatical novel (in time to enter it for a competition next week?)
Complete the accompanying web site
Complete the associated Power Point presentations
Complete the associated academic articles
Finish editing that other novel
Get the sabbatical novel and the other novel out there
Research and write the biography of one of the (real) minor characters in the novel
Edit and self-publish two books that have gone out of print
Follow up that idea for a teen novel situated in ancient times on Tenerife
Write a modern day novel about the girl who … ah that’s a secret!
Edit Spooking (by 11 March for Crooked Cat)
Accept Crooked Cat’s edits so that the book can be out by16 March (cripes!)
Get some self-promotion going associated with Spooking.
Possibly all of this came about as I came out of my deep absorption in Potatoes in Spring and got back to normal life. On my To Do list was get Spooking out there. I also have to get Veiled Dreams out there. But that will now have to wait.
It’s great. I’m now bubbling with ideas again. And I have some deadlines that are there because I have had some success.
The problem is, all of this comes as I’m busy again with teaching – bigger classes this semester – meetings and exchange students. But that is the way it is generally. Deadlines and ideas rarely come at convenient times.