I can’t write. At least not anything serious. I keep prodding and pressing at a piece of fiction that has been brewing in my head for that past six months and in impenetrable. Last week I took a day out from the family and sat down with a notebook to work out what I can write.
I did an old-fashioned brainstorm, listing the pros and cons of each project and where my head was at with them.
Then I realised it doesn’t actually matter whether I am writing (for one), but also it doesn’t actually matter what I’m writing. I fixed on an old, old idea that I came up with when the kids were little and rejuvenated it.
Now I can think of little else. I was in the shower two days ago (I do wash every day, never fear) and the ideas were pouring out (sorry).
Amidst the worry and constant scrolling through the news, I had found something light-hearted, fun and energising. It didn’t feel like work. I felt like I was cheating somehow as around me kids trudge through their school work and my husband dashes from video meeting to online seminar.
How lucky I am.
To be allowed to sit at a desk and be silly. To scribble joke cartoons in a notebook. To make up words, make up new physical laws and everyone else thinks I’m working.
Writing isn’t always this way. A great deal of the time you tear your hair out trying to find the right word, or make sure that some insignificant detail is factually correct because readers hate it when you get the name of their favourite childhood chocolate bar incorrect (I know this because I once read a very good book and the only thing I can remember about it is that they either didn’t know or allowed autocorrect to get the name Freddo the Frog wrong—blasphemy).
Are there things in your job that make you feel like you are cheating somehow? That it’s too fun or too satisfying to be part of work? I hope so. I hope your Spotify list is full of uplifting tunes and the mailman is leaving exciting parcels on your doorstep.
I’m keeping this short today because we are all tired, we are all busy and we are all fed up.
I hope you are okay. I hope you are finding small gleeful moments in your day.