The Cruellest Month

Forget Jim Kelly‘s assertion that April is the cruellest month. It’s November, Jim, but not as we know it.

Last year my dipping a toe in the water of NaNoWriMo almost broke me (writing a novel in a month is one thing, writing it while doing a full-time course is another) but at least I proved to myself that it is possible, and that the quality isn’t necessarily awful.

This year it was the film project and working at the BEH for four or five weeks. That latter part was the back-breaker. I did an eleven hour day yesterday, but aside from three hours spent going in and out of Bath -during which time I worked on the bus anyway- I didn’t need to change gear in the same way.

My spreadsheet tells me that over the thirty days of November I worked for two hundred and forty hours – and a few tenths. Add in the forty-two hours spent in and travelling to and from the BEH, and that comes to a whisker over two hundred and eighty two hours. On a weekly basis, that amounts to a sixty-six hour week.

That’s do-able for a week. Maybe two. But toward the end of the month I began to struggle to remember what day it was, for the first several minutes of each day. I made no end of mistakes on tasks, and struggled to hold even simple conversations with people. I learned what my upper limit was, at least on a long-term basis.

I’ll break down the constituencies of those two hundred and forty hours tomorrow, and end this with the thought that next year, I’m going to try and keep November free.


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• December 2nd, 2010 • Posted in General, Other Colin Harvey Sites, Writing • Comments: 0