Monday, 7 February 2011


Cascade - the weir near our home
February has come in, wild and woolly, but thankfully dry and mild.  And I have been as frenzied as the wind, writing two and three thousand words a day on my new novel.  The ideas are coming like an avalanche, filling every corner of my head.  But what started out as a delicious creative phase has turned into exhaustion.  There is only so much a body in the state mine is in can take.  You might not think sitting and typing on a laptop is tiring, but quite apart from the huge amount of energy expended to power my brain, I get physically very tense and wired.  This is because I very much 'live' my scenes, blocking them out, acting them in my head over and over again until I get them right, which can be exhausting when they are as packed with passionate emotion as the ones I am currently working on.  At the same time I have been wrestling with an IBS flare-up, and some unpleasant side-effects from the medication the doctor gave me to combat it.  The result is that, much as I am loving the work, I'm going to have to take some mental time out and think about something else for a few days to allow myself to recover.

But this gives me a new perspective on my writing habits.  I always thought that my start-stop method of production was a bad thing, illustrative of creative blocks the size of Glasgow housing projects!  It turns out that this is not so.  My body needs a break.  It is reacting just the same way it did when I was a teenager, caught up in the passionate emotions of boyfriends, falling out with friends, and all the other things that seem important at that age.  Powerful emotion goes straight to my guts.

So I am going to follow Michael Nobbs' sage advice and remember what I enjoy (not just writing).  Which in this case are the potted daffodils on the windowsill - I love flowers so much.  Right now I am lying in bed feeling rotten, and I plan to stay here until my body has used this chance to relax and recover to its fullest.  It may be extreme self care, but right now, that's what will ultimately get the book written, and make me a happy, healthy bunny into the bargain.

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