After a good start to my writing since being taken on by Wendy. Spurred on by that almost unattainable goal of a, “Four figure publishing deal.” I had no problem with ideas for the book. Even the usual what should my characters being doing now wasn’t a problem. Dialogue and sub plots were running at a good pace. Dark thoughts were in my mind 24 hours a day. Just wanted I need for writing a thriller.
And then suddenly I found myself this weekend with writers’ block. I was siting trying to move the plot forward to a major denouement. But I found my mind wandering to world events and how Great Britain seemed to have lost the plot about the Corona virus.
I have covered many subjects in my novel and I have no intention of including an outbreak of stockpiling toilet rolls as a method of moving the plot along. What did distract me briefly was the announcement that the London Book Fair for this week has been cancelled. The reason of course being the corona virus. I feel like Corona is the new Brexit. Blame everything on Corona.
My heart dropped when I heard the Book Fair was being cancelled. The organisers of one of the UK’s the largest book fairs Reed Exhibitions made the decision to cancel as a result of the travel restrictions from the fallout of the Corona Virus.
My disappointment was born out of a purely selfish reason. Feel free to berate me for this. I know many people across the world have died because of this strange new virus. But my Agent was going to the book fair and was going to pitch my book at a few publishers. I had got myself excited at the prospect of a possible publishing deal – however small. I suddenly visualised my hope of literary fame going down the proverbial with the diminishing piles of toilet rolls and hand wash in supermarkets.
Fortunately, Wendy is professional and was immediately on the case. Its business as usual for her. Shame the rest of the population isn’t taking the same attitude. Yet I am now wondering how self-isolation would work for me.
If I took 28 days behind my closed doors. No internet, no tv, no phone connection. No social media networking. I would have the first draft of this book in the bag. I would also probably be suffering with cabin fever by the end of the month. And perhaps my first day back in society would have resulted in random acts of violence.
Why do we writers even have the temerity to claim, “Writers Block”. I know exactly what I want to write I know how to drive the plot forward. I have three endings for this book so why did I waste a weekend, pontificating on things out of my control instead of just sitting at my table in the kitchen and writing?
Blame it on the weather? Blame it on the virus? Blame it on the moonlight? (It was a full moon this weekend and it was shining brightly through my window.) Blame it on the boogie?
Blame it on a big dose of laziness more like.
Hilary Mantel said in a recent interview in the Guardian, “I’ve got quite amused at people saying I have writer’s block. I’ve been like a factory.”
This is why Hilary is such a prolific writer and such a literary giant. She works at it all the time.
Well maybe the rest of us have arrived at the factory that has been closed due to the corona virus. Or maybe we should be adopting the business as usual philosophy that Wendy has taken.
Maya Angelou, said, “Nothing will work unless you do.” She is of course right.
With every job we do, the output is only as effective and prolific as the input. And writing is a job. For some it is their main job. For me I aspire for it to be my main job. I just need to work harder at it.
This week is going to be a good week. Well for a writer anyway. Back to working at it. Back to a huge dollop of enthusiasm. Back to hope of the publishing deal.
I can’t really comment on the toilet roll situation that is developing in to a national crisis.
Although on a more positive note the word “Corona” can mean “the cup-shaped or trumpet-shaped outgrowth at the centre of a daffodil or narcissus flower” – a flower of spring. You know a time of hope, of the prospect of beautiful sunny days ahead.
But for me just, “Keep Calm and Carry on Writing.”