We are told…
how to combat writers’ block (is it a myth? Or not?), to carve out time for ourselves and our writing, to spend 10 minutes writing, even if its nonsense, every day. We are told how to overcome procrastination. But in the real world of writing, what really screws up and halts creation?
Stuff happens …
We’ve just had that thing happen, the thing which heralds winter more than the fog, switching on the central heating, or Hallowe’en. When you go you upstairs in a lovely warm house, only to step into the bathroom, put on the light, and discover a small river now runs across from the radiator to the bath … That.
You seize the nearest bath towel to stem the river in its tracks. It is definitely not time to go to bed for a quiet read after a long day spent at the keyboard creating an imaginary world.. . Or to have a lovely hot shower where inspiration pours like water onto and into your head. It’s time to ring the emergency plumber … Not a situation to set the creative juices on their way, (unless you can incorporate the plumber of course, and throw together a bit of flash fiction (as my friend Debbie Young probably would!)
And of course there’s always stuff, happy things, (a first grandchild) and irritating things, (try to sell a house in today’s market …), re-designing a website, writing book reviews)
As we in the Northern Hemisphere plunge down into the season of cold, darkness, and bare leafless trees, we are living in dark times.
“Brexit”, the USA election prospects, the increasing violence in Syria, with destruction of cities, civilians, children, and classic artefacts, is enough to knock the idea of writing fiction out of anyone’s head. What use is fiction? What purpose does it serve?
As inside my own community, a microcosm of the world at war – discontent, destruction, disillusion are everywhere. Food Banks are common, and rough sleepers. Even the doctors go on strike over conditions of work, and are opposed by the government.
Writing feels like a cop-out, unless it changes something for the better.
The rebellion of the computer!
What a creature it is – moody and rebellious, its sensitivities rear up to block the rifles flow of words – and I do not mean by ’writer’s block’.
E-mails and messages straight from the beast itself demand attention: check your security, change your password! These could be genuine or they might be phishing. Better do as it says, change the privacy settings, but do not click on any of the addresses the email suggested. Many of the computers complaints or demands take an hour or so of tripping between windows and websites, searching the net for forums to gain wisdom, creating new ways to access and protect your data, and even indulging in serious online chat.
My computer suffered major slowdown last spring, only solved after much trial and error, by fitting a new solid-state hard disk. The initial cause? Upgrading to EL Capitan!
Procrastination? Hardly. Unless you count avoiding beginning the work day, in order to give a stream of frustrations and interruptions.