How you need NOT prepare for a 3 month book- writing sabbatical abroad

The clock

The clock
The clock | Source

How to prepare for the sabbatical

My book is real and screaming to be written. Now, it will be written, in three months!

It's a book I've had in me for years; a thrilling story set in thrilling times, in a thrilling place. An untold story. After a life time of writer's block, of black parrots sitting on my shoulder squawking 'you can't do that', of procrastinations various real and imaginary, this is it.

This is the coming into the clear, believing. This is the chance I will not lose to achieve my goal.

It is all a question of timing, of determination, focusing, of doing 'the next right thing', (of love and support too) and of catching that wing to fly on.

Time to begin.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The plan, conceived in the spring of 2011, was to write a book in three months in Los Angeles, California, USA this very winter between January 6 - April 2, 2012.

It was an enthusiastic promise to myself, to my friends, to all the air around me (and all the spirits in the air) to leave my farmhouse in Tuscany to go to LA to write the book.

The idea for the book blew into my mental sky, like a fabulous kite on a bright day; colored, billowing, beautiful. A very personal, crystal clear, real idea.

Using credit cards:

1. I bought the airline tickets with Air New Zealand, my favorite airline company, (really laid back, happy-vibe flights)

2 I booked a rental car at my favorite car rental near LAX the other day - (Super Cheaper!)

Leaning heavily on friendship:

3. I have a home to hang my hat in. (It's a garden studio annex in my friend's back yard .The bed is made. "You have a desk", my friend assures me.)

I can't afford to back out now. The commitment is frighteningly, firmly in place.

But I am not prepared, haven't written a single word of the book. Not one.

There are some great excuses, real life important ones. Is 'being very busy taking care of the practical side of living' a good enough excuse?. Money doesn't grow on trees does it? Time can't be carved out of one's life and plopped in another on the other side of the world just like that, with no planning or considerations. What about all the bills, the pets, health, partner, home maintenance ad infinitem?

It all takes time and it takes cunning and it takes resourcefulness. It takes everything you've got. And what you haven't got, I have found.

Here follow a short list of practical preparations. Too short I'm convinced. But what more can I do? Time has run out.

"Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing", said Wayne Dyer. Now this is a consolation

Financing:

In Virginia Wolf's short novel "A room of one's own" she said that "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write...." (here a link to an ebook of the book http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/woolf/virginia/w91r/).

I don't have the first of those two commodities. But, phew, I know someone who can help.

1) I've got a creative bank manager (of the MPS bank, the oldest bank in the world). He helped organize a small loan. It got sneaked through and past the higher-up banking folk, the ones with the rubber 'approved' stamps. The money, ostensibly, was financing to pay for 'kitchen improvements'. I'd never have gotten it for my book, for sure!

2) HubPages! Yes. The plan here has been to make some money out of the them in the future (in case the book doesn't go the way we all dream). This is my 13th Hub and must say, I'm only now beginning to get a handle on the SEO side of things, and linking and all that internet know-how that doesn't come easy. I am SLOW to learn technical facts, even without four and a half children to take care of, church flowers to cut, a full time job on the other side of my region to go to.


All ready for the words!

All ready for the words!
All ready for the words! | Source

How to plan.

"Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action", advised Napoleon Hill.

Here. Here!.

Researching

Notes should be taken, thoughts captured, nailed to the book tree. Files opened, snippets here and there copied and pasted, a tapestry of paragraphs of striking lines and pages and so forth being put together in my Book File.

I haven't done the Book File! I'd need a ton more vitamins to do that, a centrally heated house and more light for the paraffin lamp I burned writing Hubs into the night. Excuses I realize, but there's a modicum of truth in there somewhere.

1) It takes time and it takes money. I did go to London to the British Library to photocopy pages from a series of magazines published many years ago that I need.

2) I read many books (most of them second hand from Amazon since I live in a rural area in Italy and English books are impossible to come across) by authors who shine a light on the style and the ''how" of writing the book I want to write - and although I won't be able to fly with these books in my luggage, I do have a library card for the Los Angeles Public Library. It will have to do.

3) note: Must start making the list of those books and then photocopy that list. (as soon as the stores open after New Year).

4) Call it 'thinking' research. I'm sure I sleep with my book rippling along a stream in my sub conscious; I never forget it, I live with it quietly. (Oh dream on!). But I do.

Miscellaneous personal business

"The secret of success in life is for a man (woman too!) to be ready for his (her) opportunity when it comes" assures Charles Caleb Colton.

I am ready for my opportunity. I'm just hurrying to get the preparations done Mr Colton.

1 - 100. The last personal details, like my relationship with my companion, my pets and their well being, the house, (its leaks and creaks and the surrounding growing grass and rutted roadways and so on), all that is personal, that has to go on and be Okay while i am not at home, is squashed into these lines, here, like my luggage is going to be squashed into a bag.

Lists have been made of when to take medicines, when the cat's have their vet appointments, when the rubbish tax has to be paid, what my USA numbers are, where the supermarket coupons are, how to make vegetable soup (because scrambled eggs twice a day for 90 days is not going to be good for them), where the second set of car keys are, what the bailiffs number is for cutting the grass in the field in March, which airport I'll be landing at when I return.....

Kisses. Done.

Food cupboard. Stored up.

Bed linens. Ironed.

Flowers everywhere. Tick that box.

How much time it took them.

Here is a short list of famous authors who wrote best selling books in a short time, as consolation and as encouragement that a book can get written in three months, (when it has to), even under the desperate circumstances its been subjected to.

- It took Edna O'Brien three weeks to write "The Country Girls", the first book of her classic Trilogy (of the same name.)

- Barbara Cartland wrote 623 best sellers in her life, selling millions of books.

- Dr. Richard Carlson wrote "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" during a 12 hour transatlantic flight. It sold 25 million copies.

- John Grisham stated in an interview that he usually takes only six months to write a book.

- Jodi Piccoult, who is 44 and has three children has written 18 books. She writes a book in about 9 months, but she is often working on more than one book at once and who may also be touring for yet another book.

- Francis Ford Coppola the film director and screenplay writer wrote the film script for The Great Gatsby from F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel of the same name in less than 6 weeks. (Jack Clayton directed the movie).

Virginia Wolf said it took her four days to write "A room of one's own"

Goals.

It is a mind set.

The kite was in my sky. My kite.

My book is real and screaming to be written. Now, it will be written, in three months!

It's a book I've had in me for years; a thrilling story set in thrilling times, in a thrilling place. An untold story. After a life time of writer's block, of black parrots sitting on my shoulder squawking 'you can't do that', of procrastinations various real and imaginary, this is it.

This is the coming into the clear, believing. This is the chance I will not lose.

It is all a question of timing, of determination, focusing, of doing 'the next right thing', (of love and support too) and of catching that wing to fly on.

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!! I'm off to write that book. No matter what.

THE BEGINNING.

On my way!

I'm on my way
I'm on my way | Source

© 2011 Penelope Hart

More by this Author


Comments 33 comments

carol3san profile image

carol3san 4 years ago from Hollywood Florida

I love this hub. You have give me the inspiration to complete my ebbok within the next 2 months. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful new year with your writing career. Voted up, useful, and awesome.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Wow!!! carol3san, thank you so much for such great comments.

All the very, very best with your ebook!

Have a great time with it - and you have a Very Happy New Year.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

GoodLady - your enthusiasm alone tells me you're going to get this done! So excited for you, best of luck!


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Hi Jools99. Nice to see you here and thanks for your enthusiasm too! That's so kind.

All the very very best for your year too.


marjorie 4 years ago

You are an inspiration to me and make me more enthusiasatic about what I want to do. thank you and good luck


Teresa Elizabeth 4 years ago

Brilliant! I can feel your excitement and determination. Very inspirational!

I loved all the quotes too...aren't they soooo helpful in focussing the mind?

Good luck, really GOOD LUCK and I hope you enjoy the whole time doing this too, and look forward to hearing your story afterwards.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

You can have a signed copy Teresa Elizabeth.

Thanks for your comments.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

This is so exciting!! I'm glad you're going forward, no matter what. It should be an adventure!


Sharon Wright 4 years ago

I love your excitement for your purpose. I look forward to reading your book when you finish. Maybe staying sometime at you B&B in Tuscany. After reading this, I will get up tomorrow with new resolve for my own pursuits.

The very best for you this 2012. I know you will succeed!


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Thank you very much for you sincere interest and friendly comments.

I wish you all the very best with whatever projects your new energy gives you!


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

You are always a breath of fresh air with all your enthusiasm - just fantastic!! And many thanks.

All the best.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Thanks for your interest.


Poppit 4 years ago

You really have motivated me with this hub. Thanks GoodLady.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Glad to hear it. Thanks for your comment. Wish you success.


matti harris 4 years ago

All wind to your sails dear lady. You write with verve - I can't wait to read the book!


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Matti Harris thanks for stopping by and to you a signed copy


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Thanks so much for your support!


Gracefulwriter profile image

Gracefulwriter 4 years ago from Northern Virginia

I'm working w/ a group in collaboration on a book. We met a year ago, started w/ relationship-building for trust and love. The group whittled-down, down, down from 10 to now 3. We're set to complete in March. We don't know what we're doing, but that's the blessing. We're just forging ahead and doing it. We'll learn what went wrong, I'll blog about it and then I'll do another one.

Thanks for sharing.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Please let me know how you get to the touch line Gracefulwriter!

I'll go have a proper look at your profile and get the blog address and find out...supporting you! Of course I am!

It is a blessing to keep on going when you don't know where you are with a creative project like writing, but you keep on going ON.

Not sure there is any wrong in effort.

When your book is 'complete', perhaps it's just a first draft and from it will emerge a draft you can work on and re-complete?

Writing is in the re-writing I heard!

It's a long hard slog, but hey, if you/ we are writers what else have you/we got to do?

Great to have you in my life.

Thanks...and for your comments.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

There are a lot of things you have to think about when you are writing a book, a lot of which are not related to book writing but getting ready, like planning the food and the grass cutting. I wish you the best of belief, luck and success. You can do it!


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

So kind of you to come along here and be so supportive. I appreciate what you say about 'belief', You must be speaking from experience!

Thank you Millionaire Tips.

I am writing every day now whilst taking care of health too.

Best of luck to you too.


Duchess OBlunt 4 years ago

What a wonderful hub and introduction to your work. I'm glad I chose your 13th hub to read first. I think you can do it, and I hope you keep us posted when you finish the job!


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Thank you Duchess OBlunt for your kind support. I am writing a little a day. The big idea to be quick about it just was not a good plan. Looking forward to meeting you more here on the Pages, and to getting to know your work.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi :)

Very inspiring article!

Good luck with your project.

This hub should get us all writing :)


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Trish_M thanks. It got me started too. The violent promise to myself worked. But writing the book is a much slower process than I imagined! It's a process.


denisemai profile image

denisemai 4 years ago from Idaho

Very funny. This has a "Bridget Jones' Diary" vibe to it. But the burning question is, it's April 18, where are you on the book writing, now? Excellent hub. I look forward to reading many more!


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Glad you got a laugh!

I wrote notes every day and understood what genre the book will be and how it should be divided up into 5 parts, it's style of writing - and that was about all!!!! How mad to think I could do it so quickly. I went with a Hub Pages attitude, but a book isn't like that! No way.

Thanks for dropping in and commenting.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Don't give up!

That book is far too thrilling to give up on :)


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

I won't, promise. How supportive you are, THANK you so much.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Great Hub. Funny, fascinatying, helpful, encouraging. Keep Writing! :)


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Thanks so much for reading and making such encouraging remarks.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, I love your humour in this, I totally understand! I have written most of an ebook, its still sitting there waiting for me to do something magical with it, and there it just sits. and sits. and well you get the idea! lol! good luck! and hecate horus recommended you, so thats how I found you, and I am so glad I did, nell


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Good luck Nell Rose (love your name)! Glad we found each other! Thanks for comment

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