If I don’t finish that story, I will not be able to pay the mortgage…

By Mark Dapin

I started my writing day at six o’clock this morning, when I printed out and proofed the first chapter of my upcoming military history book. I’m already weeks behind schedule with the book, which has to be in the shops in November. I must complete another chapter before the end of the day, otherwise I simply will not make the deadline. Unfortunately, tomorrow is my deadline for a 2600-word magazine feature story about a Scandinavian author, whom I visited a couple of weeks ago at his home in southern Sweden. If I don’t finish that story, I will not be able to pay the mortgage (perhaps not this month, but in a few months’ time). dapintall

I was supposed to fly to Melbourne tomorrow to interview a philosopher for a newspaper but, thankfully, the job was cancelled when the paper decided it couldn’t afford the flight (it needs its budget to pay the salaries of all the executives who are running the company into the ground). I would’ve had to complete that 1800-word story in 48 hours, which would’ve meant staying up most of tomorrow night. I’m also working on the second draft of my latest novel. It isn’t urgent – I’ve been paid the advance and I don’t need to deliver for months – but it’s the work I love the most and I can’t wait to see it finished, so it’d be fantastic to get an hour or so done today. But if I don’t write at least 2000 fresh words of the military history book this afternoon, I won’t be able to get the first 50,000 words off to publisher on Monday, one moth late.

So what’s my plan? Well, I’m going to finish this blog post, inviting you all to join me at my masterclass on April 5-6, in which I’ll explain to you how I manage to keep sane and keep writing, and then I’m going to the gym…


Mark Dapin’s CV is one of the most diverse in Australia. Mark was nominated for the Miles Franklin Award for his novel Spirit House and won the Ned Kelly Award for his novel King of the Cross. He has done time as the editor-in-chief of men’s magazines, a bestselling travel writer and beloved newspaper columnist in the Adelaide Advertiser and Good Weekend.

Mark will be holding a two day workshop at SAWC 5 and 6 April, 2014.

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