Two weeks ago I scribbled a possible title in my diary for today's post. It was not a good day. 'This writer is on the verge of giving up,' I scrawled. Then my internal editor kicked in and said: 'No, you can't possibly write that. It will discourage other people and what will they think of you?'
I decided to give it a bit of time. I got back from a week in my seaside flat this afternoon and saw, with rather a shock, that tomorrow was the 26th and I had not yet written my blog. Nor did I have any ideas - just that barely-legible note from a fortnight ago.
So I will go with that. It has not been an easy few months, writing-wise. I am very disappointed with sales (or rather lack of them) of my self-published books. I know it's probably my own fault for not being sufficently committed to publicity. But I've tried so many things, all time- and energy-consuming, some of them costing money, and to be honest, I'm rather sick of all the social networking. Not, I hasten to add, of chatting to friends and getting to know fellow authors - that's the fun part. But using social media to try to persuade people to read my stuff - well, folks, it just aint working for me.
Going off to the seaside is good in a number of ways, one of which is that my current internet connection there is lousy, so I can't even reply to emails very easily, and the thought of trying to blog and tweet and Facebook and all the rest... it's just not possible.
Which gives me all these empty hours. Some of them I spend walking (well wrapped up, this past week), on the cliffs or on the beach. Wonderful. I've caught up on reading (just discovered Barbara Pym - how could I not have read her books before now? So very funny - and her career is rather inspiring too, but that's for another time). I've been listening to piano music and decided I would like to have a go at playing again. But most of all, I've been sitting with a notebook and pen, just thinking. And scribbling. Not just messages to myself about giving up writing, though there was a bit of that. But one or two characters turned up - ones I already knew a bit - and suggested to me that they might have developed a bit further while I had my eye on other things.
So I listened in and wrote down what they said. I rediscovered some of the joys of just writing, nothing else. With no eye on the clock. No jumping back and forth between different books. No juggling with household chores. Not even thinking about who might eventually read this stuff or how to make it accessible and visible. Just me and the notebook and pen.
It was lovely. That's really all I can say. This is a short post, partly because I haven't given myself much time but also because I don't have a lot to say. Except - I haven't quite given up, not yet...