A plain, flat, nondescript kind of place. A desert waiting for rain, and the strange blooms you’d never have thought possible, just under the surface. Which is over-selling the scenario, no doubt. It’s just a post-final edit, post-holiday, soon to go back to work and revisit the old self-doubt kind of funk. The antidote is right here in front of me, of course – a bracing dose of shut the hell up and write. I’ve done it before; there’s no reason to think I won’t be able to do it again. All I have to do is trust my unconscious to throw some ideas on the page, and then let my internal editor knock it into shape.
It’s not as if I’m short of things that need doing. I need to be fixing the timeline problems Kath identified in The Fabulous Fears book. I need to be sending the MS out to agents, and chumming the water with a letter of introduction & a juicy plot outline. Getting more people to read it so I can get feedback and useful insight into how I might improve.
Practical things – not this desert waiting for rain BS.
writing & swimming
It’s like swimming in the sea. The best way is to dive in as soon as you can. You know your body will adapt, because it always has in the past.
In fact, the sensation of instant cold is so overwhelming you won’t feel it as cold but as something else, a thermal shock, neither one thing nor the other. Five minutes later, you’ll be skulling on your back, loving the clouds.
Allow it as my cool nephew would say.
Or as Joseph Conrad put it:
‘A man that is born falls into a dream like a man who falls into the sea. If he tries to climb out into the air as inexperienced people endeavour to do, he drowns…The way is to the destructive element submit yourself, and with the exertions of your hands and feet in the water make the deep, deep sea keep you up…In the destructive element immerse.’
speaking of dreams
For instance, last night I dreamed I was in a church graveyard where all the headstones were carved to look like characters from children’s books – Angelina Ballerina, Maisy, Hunca Munca.
‘They’re all mice!’ I said to my partner, but she was distracted by something hurrying towards us along the path.
So the lesson I take from that (apart from an urgent need for psychoanalysis), is that the only thing stopping me from being productive today is the conscious me – which is just the workaday version of the exact-same me that effortlessly comes up with fantastic scenarios like the mouse cemetery…
So maybe what I really need is a nap.