We are into September, but there is still time for a little rest and relaxation before the recommencement of the normal round of work. I am working on a couple of pieces at the moment, generally getting my writing done early in the morning before the day is properly under way. The first work is another competition entry, although as time goes on I am less and less optimistic both about its quality and about the likelihood of its being completed before the deadline. The second is a relatively short choral piece for a first performance in October. For the latter piece I am still accumulating ideas rather than putting notes on paper, but I am confident that it should not take too long to write.

The piece for narrator and instrumental ensemble is on the back burner for the time being while I focus on these other two works, but the intention is to return to it within the next couple of weeks once the coast is clear.

I think I shall attempt to redesign the layout of my days once I get back to a regular routine, at least as regular as a freelancer’s routine can be. There are areas of the day which are undoubtedly more conducive to work, and I need to take advantage of them as much as possible. I would also like to return to the healthy habit of checking and dealing with my emails once and once only per day, rather than being chained to the screen like some cyberslave. There is always something to be done and something to chase up, but the email should be tool, not master. The circumstances on my break have allowed me only intermittent access to phone calls and emails, possibly too much in that direction, but it is still heartening to realise how much work can be done when there are not other issues expanding to fill any time available.

This is all part of a process of refinement as I head into year two of my proper life as a composer, also a kind of annual check to make sure that I am on the straight and narrow. Nothing is seriously out of kilter, but I think I would be wise to be aware that it is easy to form bad habits.