The past few days I'm back at the keyboard plugging away at a new writing project again but watch this space for details in the coming months. I'm never "not writing", there's always something to do - emails, promotional material, website, blog, preparing the next project proposal. I once read that Stephen King writes every day except his birthday, Christmas and Thanksgiving, then a few years later he went back on this and said it was rubbish, in fact he writes every day. I can understand why. Coming back from a writing hiatus is painful and I've learned it's not worth stopping. It's like exercise, taking a break might feel good but you pay for it with interest when you try to get back into the routine. But writing and writing under contract (which has deadlines) always has a way of sharpening the mind!
By the way, I can't release any real details on this project just yet. The world of publishing is very hush-hush, or at least it is until the final project, title and sometimes cover and all, appears in Amazon or B&N before I've even submitted the first draft chapter!
One thing that I never fail to notice when I'm back "writing to a deadline" is just how robust and reliable things have become over the years. I've been making ASCII characters appear in Microsoft Word and using email to send off completed packages of ASCII characters (organized into chapters) to publishers for a number of years now but the writing process certainly seems a lot easier and less hassle now than it did about a decade ago - Windows and Word are both are infinitely more stable and I am now getting into bad habits like not saving a document until I'm done for the day (although I do still have the autosave feature switched on and saving every 2 minutes - I might be brave but I'm not stupid!).
When I'm done for the day I back up onto USB flash memory (encrypting anything sensitive) and at the end of the week I do a CD backup. I also have a backup going to another machine daily. Problem is, I can't remember the last time I needed to recover a document out of archive.
When I send the manuscript and images off to the editor I used to need to compress the files manually before attaching them to an email, now thanks to the Winzip Outlook Plug-in this is all done automatically. I hardly have to do anything.
Compare this to a few years ago - Windows Page Faults at the worst time possible, word processor lock ups, slow connection speeds, painfully slow backup (not to mention buggy recovery if you actually wanted to recover from the backup) ...
I'm in the tech industry and I'm certainly impressed with how much better things are now!