Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Still crickets...

The little people in my head are still scarily silent and my giant case of "why bother-itis" hasn't gone away.

But... I've learned to crochet! Well, I'm in the process of learning to crochet. The fabulous woman who runs the "Knit and Natter" group I go to with my Mum every week is teaching me (she has the patience of a saint!) and I'm now practising a lot of double crochet (single crochet in US terms) and half-treble (half-double in US), making a giant yarn basket and using up some random wool in my stash.

A bit like walking, or gardening, or knitting, I'm finding crochet allows part of my brain to be focused on the crochet part (now I know what I'm doing and especially as I'm not really needing to follow a pattern, but just going around and around on the basket!), but other parts of my brain get to freewheel. In the past, this led to books getting plotted, and characters becoming fully rounded rather than chirruping little voices that nagged at me.

A few voices are trying to break through the thick mist in my head while I'm crocheting. They're not loud and they're not saying much, but maybe, just maybe, they will come back.

Here's hoping.

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Missing In Action

Or, more accurately, just "inaction".

I haven't posted on here in almost a month. My "Get up and go" has got up and gone. The little people in my head, who normally besiege me with their incessant chatter and demands to be the next ones I write about are totally, utterly silent.

I want to process the audiobook I've recorded slightly less than I'd like to drill a hole in my head. I want to record another audiobook even less than that.

I have a fully written book, waiting to be edited and I can't summon the effort to even open the files.

I have vague outline ideas for two other books, and I can't bear to think about them, because I don't think the characters will talk to me.

The last time I felt like this (8 years ago, roughly), it was because I came seriously close to having a breakdown. Between work at the university and writing, I'd burned out, and my brain said, "Enough!" I was off work for more than six months as a consequence.

I don't think I'm burning out. I don't think I'm heading for a breakdown. But then, I was the last person to think I was 8 years ago, when everyone around me knew damn fine that's exactly where I was headed.

I think I'm just tired. I hope I'm just tired. The little people being so silent scares me. They normally provide an near-incessant background chatter that can make it hard to do anything else except give in to their demands and write.

I hoped that being away in the Highlands and Islands on holiday would spark stuff. It always has in the past. But no... just silence still.

I'm not going to push it. If they don't want to talk, they don't want to talk. It's tennis season, and productivity always plummeted when Queen's and Wimbledon was on, so this year I'm just going to abandon any pretence of working while that's on. I have some craft projects I could finish. I have plenty of gardening I could be doing if there's no tennis to watch. I'm still writing for Nero's Notes.

I'm hoping this will pass. If it never does, at least I have seven books out there, so I guess I can still call myself a writer.