#Swanwick68: Day 4 (Tuesday)
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to oversleep on Tuesday morning, after three hard days’ work and an evening spent dancing in the Vinery. At least, I hope I wasn’t ! But it was okay; Tuesday is the middle-day, the day for taking things easy, the day when the programme is lighter, with more time to just relax and absorb; right? Wrong! Or as Cheryl Holland put it so succinctly in her tips for white badgers last week: When they say Tuesday’s a day off, they’re lying!
There are no scheduled classes, but there are activities available throughout the day, from the crime panel discussion (and if the photo of the Chairman brandishing a gun is anything to go by, that was a lively session) to the improvisation groups and preparations for Page to Stage.
But a couple of years ago, a new innovation appeared on the programme: Procrastination-Free Day. Every writer knows about procrastination; why else do we have the cleanest ovens and kitchen floors? And the idea of PFD is to take away all distractions, all excuses – and just write. (It’s a bit like NaNoWriMo, but shorter and sharper.)
I signed up for PDF this year and duly joined 14 others, all of us armed with our targets for the morning and for the afternoon. And I don’t know whether it was the Swanwick magic, Jonathan’s steely eye from the front of the room, or the fact that we publicly declared our targets; but everyone turned out a ton of work in the allotted time. Word counts were beaten; plot holes were filled; homework assignments were completed – not to mention a few competition entries. Me? I wrote an article and a blog post, plotted out the chapters for one novel and developed an overview for another one. So, along with everyone else, I awarded myself a card full of shiny stickers. Maybe that was the real motivation: the inner child just loves a shiny sticker!