A lot of life stuff has come at me over the past few months, and it has impacted on my writing time.
I don’t have the inclination or energy to beat myself up about it, and I’m not going into detail here and now – but occasionally I think I should take some tentative steps towards getting back into the swing of things. This is one such occasion.
A couple of years ago I did a creative writing course online and one of the first exercises was to sit down and think about all the stuff that stops you from writing. The idea is you can then take steps to address those things. Currently, my things include:
- Being very tired a lot of the time
- Feeling like I don’t have anything new or original to bring to the table
- My computer being incredibly slow (and unusable unless it’s plugged in)
I think the first thing on the list, being tired, makes the other things feel more difficult / annoying / occasionally insurmountable than they are. In theory it’ll pass, and in the meantime I’ve been trying to address it with early nights. But that’s not always practical, and doesn’t leave me much writing time.
The feeling like I’ve nothing new or original to say is a standard writer problem – or it should be. If you’re 100% confident your thing must be said and everyone ought to listen, I’d suggest you take that as an instruction to check yourself.
For me, this sense that all my ideas are terrible is likely being exacerbated by the fatigue. Hopefully this will go away, or else my body will get used to it. I would like to err on the side of cautiously optimistic, for a while at least.
And finally, the fact my laptop is on its last legs is actually the most easily fixable thing here. I could take it to a shop and see if they can do anything to give it an extra couple of years. If they can’t, I am technically in a position where I could go into my savings and replace it. It’s 8 years old, which isn’t a bad innings (the internet says for what I paid, 4-7 years is about the limit..).
I wrote 12 books in 12 months on it, and it’s lasted me through three different homes and a whole load of comic and blog making, so there’s a sentimental attachment. But it really shouldn’t take ten minutes to load WordPress, or up to 60 seconds for what I’ve typed in Word to appear on the screen (that’s a hell of a way to put you off your flow when writing). Meanwhile writing on my phone (which I’m currently doing) is not only slower, it results in cramps to my hands and arms. So that’s pretty pointless and unsustainable.
I have a week off work coming up. Maybe I will address some of these issues then, by sleeping 14 hours a day and finally taking my laptop to a doctor?
Watch this space…