It used to be the case that the summer vacation provided two or three months for serious writing. Nowadays, because the House of Lords tends to sit until late July and the academic year starts in September (with plenty of work needed to prepare for it), it tends only to be August that is available. Even then, there’s a fair amount of administration, supervision of PhDs and still some marking to be done. Anyway, as soon as the Workshop of Parliamentary Scholars was over – see my earlier post – and the House rose, I was able to get on with some serious writing. Rather to my pleasant surprise, I managed to get ahead of schedule. I finished a conference paper and in the past 24 hours have submitted three manuscripts – one journal article (on the Fixed-term Parliaments Act) and two book chapters (one on the Coalition and the Conservatives, the other on Parliament for a volume on the UK constitution). All being well, they will be appearing in 2015.
Now that August is over, I will have to work round other commitments in order to get on with an article on prime ministerial succession and a number of chapters I have agreed to write – on Parliament during a period of coalition, the legislative process in the House of Lords, and the training of MPs. I think that is all I am presently committed to writing, though I do have an upcoming keynote speech on sub-national legislatures.
One reason I mention all this is by way of explanation for light blogging over the past month. One might think that with my diary being fairly empty for the month, I would have more time to contribute posts, as well as being more active on Twitter. The reality has been that I have been so absorbed by writing that I haven’t had much time to pen anything for the Blog. Fortunately, the caption competition has kept readers engaged, rather splendidly so. As for Twitter, I am not sure tweets to the effect of ‘writing’, ‘still writing’, ‘another few thousand words completed’, would be that exciting.
At least completing the various projects means I will have something to write about as each one is published. I now have five publications in the pipeline. However, as yet, no new book. Hmm, must think about remedying that.