Back to Basics

Ah, January. This year I’ll finish writing the novel.

Honestly, how many times have I said this? Lockdown produced quite a lot of writing which I didn’t actually hate. Then Life happened. Law and conveyancing and the Stamp Duty holiday. Cheers, Rishi Sunak. Clients yelling and swearing, endlessly hassling despite us working seven days a week. Not because their lives were about to change, but because they’d save a few quid, the greedy shouty bastards. Remember all that blathering about how we’d learn about ourselves and come out of Covid better people, appreciating the simple things? Nah. People just got angrier.

Then it transpired that the 25,000 words of The Novel had disappeared. Nowhere to be found. Not in Scrivener or the cloud or an emergency Word copy emailed to myself in pessimistic haste. Wow. So bad, I thought, it had self-deleted. Impressive, in a way.

But it’s back. I don’t know where it went but it’s shrugging its shoulders and smoking a fag. Weird. It doesn’t give a toss whether it gets written or not; it’s all down to me, apparently. Who knew?

If I were going to run a marathon, I wouldn’t do one every day as some sort of training activity. I’d do, um, little jogs perhaps. Stretches or something. A couple of star jumps for sure. Don’t worry, I’m not going to run a marathon. I just googled and it takes about 8 hours for a ‘normal’ person. I don’t even want to do things I like for 8 hours straight. Also, the internet said marathon runners reach their peak mid-30s so that’s me buggered, much like my knees. I probably won’t even do any star jumps because I’m rarely wearing the right bra for that sort of carry-on.

Anyway. I’m writing the novel, slowly but surely, whilst actually enjoying the writerly form of lunges: writing exercises, pen portraits, general sighing over other people’s prose. I’ve signed up for a writers workshop at my local theatre; am eyeing up Jay Rayner’s column-writing workshop on 29th Jan (details here, if you fancy it). Actually. Writing.

Anyway, it’s cold and dark outside and I’ve grown out of my sports bra so that’s that then eh? Writing not running. Thank goodness.

Chantry Park, Ipswich. January 2022. Never leaving the house again.