After a challenging year of loss and change, 2018 is an opportunity for writing that can’t be missed.
Some of my more observant readers will notice that this blog – and indeed all of my online gibbering and twittering – has been somewhat neglected of late. All I can day is “sorry!” In particular I haven’t written anything in months and I feel ever so slightly bad for that.
In my defence (or defense if you are from over the Pond) my whole world stopped and got turned upside down in September when my beloved wife passed away after a long and very difficult battle against dementia. It was the single most awful and upsetting thing in my life so far and very nearly destroyed me as I saw a beautiful young woman decay before my eyes. My family had nearly six years to prepare for her death but it still came as a shock. Afterwards it felt like everything had to stop and wait for me as I just needed to circle the wagons and survive every day as I made countless arrangements for her funeral and then had to sort out the legal and financial mess that death leaves in its wake. It was a hugely challenging period of my life and I felt utterly exhausted. Writing was the last thing on my mind and there were even moments when I wondered if my choice of career was the right one. Should I give up on my dream and return to the Rat-Race now? For a while it really was touch and go if I would ever write again.
Thankfully things since Christmas have moved on quickly and I am now back in a place mentally where I actually want to write again. I’m also in a new relationship with an amazing woman and life feels like living again.
Then last night something hit me like a locomotive with a personal grudge and things took a new twist. After searching in vain for hours for a new job that looked even vaguely interesting I finally gave up my search and went to bed, but try as I might I just couldn’t get to sleep. I knew that it was going to be a long night.
Instead of panic in the cold dark of January, my mind was flooded with a scene from a story that I had been working on as a skunk project last year at the same as my sequel to Kingmaker. It wasn’t just flooded with words – it was like my brain was suddenly full of Oxford educated hornets equipped with typewriters and an urgent deadline to keep! In fact it was so strong I couldn’t sleep and I simply HAD to stay up and write it all down, scribbling away fervently at the pad of paper I keep by the bed, until at 2.00 AM I was finally finished and able to sleep at last. Last night was the breakthrough that I had been waiting for and despite my exhaustion I woke up today feeling reborn.
And that’s what I wanted to share with you, particularly if you write too. Writing isn’t something that you can bang out like a metronome. It comes from deep within and there are times in your life when the metronome is broken and writing becomes an impossible task. Don’t worry. In time your mind will become clear again and the insatiable desire to write will return again and so will that all-important spark of creativity.
So now 2018 is both a challenge and an opportunity to get my second book finished and really push on with my writing again.
Whatever happens on the long and winding road of life, just remember that you are never truly alone and the world will be ready and waiting for you when you want to join in again.
Good luck and all the best for 2018
7 January 2017