Crumbs! Halfway through the year already.
It feels, in many ways, to have gone so quickly. But in others, the Thirtieth of June seems like a whole other world from the First of January.
For in that time, my entire mindset has changed.
Six months ago, I was just pootling along, going nowhere.
Now I’m striding towards a goal. I’m feeling more positive, more fulfilled. Overworked certainly, but I’m happy for it.
For such a long time, my creativity was at a low-ebb. I’d start on things, feel wildly enthusiastic about them, but lose momentum and whatever I was writing would grind to a halt. A new idea would come along, and when your approach is basically lackadaisical, then a new idea always looks more enticing.
Somewhere along the line I had lost my spark.
Okay, in January our baby girl was three months old, so we were just coming off the first intense twelve weeks of sleeplessness before we settled into a kind of routine.
I can’t really beat myself up too much in that period for not being creative though. Towards the end of last year, three-shot Americanos were my best friends. I wasn’t going to get much in the way creative done.
But by February, I was still just pootling along and I knew I had to change. I knew I had to do something. My approach of just carving time out at the weekend wasn’t working. It wasn’t working at all. I had sunk myself into a rut, and if I didn’t want to condemn myself to a lifetime of frustration (and, of course, I very much didn’t) I had to somehow pull myself out.
I knew I had to change the way I lived my life. Change the way I wrote. Focus more.
Instead of allowing myself to be easily distracted, I had to use my time smarter. I couldn’t lose myself in a magazine anymore, crap TV had to be jettisoned, and even books had to be rationed,
(It has actually made the practice of reading all the more precious.)
Time is valuable and I really needed to use it wisely.
So, rather than read on trains now, I now write on trains.
Rather than just getting some fresh air lunchtime, I sit in cafes and I write.
Every opportunity I get, I write.
And it’s working.
At the end of February, my plan was to just write some short stories on the train to work each day – see how that went. But the idea that came to me on the second morning swiftly blew up into a full novel. (More than that, I now have in my head a trilogy of novels.)
It’s now just over four months later, and I have written two drafts of that book and am now rewriting it again.
I have another collection of shorter fiction almost ready to go for September.
On trains in the morning I am currently working on a Welsh short story/novella, and have an idea for a Christmas one that will hopefully (crosses all fingers) be ready for the season in question.
As my brother-in-law said to me at the weekend, I seem to have got my writing mojo back.
And it’s an incredibly satisfying feeling.