For the last week, “writer’s block” is the title I’ve had in mind for my next blog post. It follows on thematically from the previous post, and I have sort of being suffering from it—for the last few years, if I’m honest. It’s not that I haven’t been writing. I’ve written almost 50,000 words of the current novel-in-progess. And I’ve been tinkering away as always on older stuff. But I just don’t seem to have a regular daily writing routine any more. I had one once, I know I did. But now weeks—sometimes months—go by without me sitting down to write. Blame my nomadic lifestyle: moving from Borneo to Singapore to Thailand in the space of the last three years. Blame social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all fairly recent additions to my life and I allow them to suck up ridiculous amounts of time. Blame the Kardashians and my platinum cable TV subscription. And now we can also blame my success in the Bath Novel Award, and the posting online of the first three chapters of my novel You’re Beautiful for anyone to read, which has made me feel all self-conscious.
Funnily enough though, apart from those lovely supportive Bath Novel Award people, hardly anyone seems to have read that online extract. So maybe there’s no need to feel so self-conscious after all. Although wouldn’t you know it, one of the very few people who contacted me to say they’d read and enjoyed it was my mother, which made me go back and reread the extract through her eyes. All I could see was sex scene after sex scene. I had no idea I’d put so much sex in the book. When I mentioned this to my colleague Joey, she quickly became another of the very small handful of friends and family to have read those first chapters. “Yes,” she confirmed, the next day. “There was a lot of sex, wasn’t there?”
Anyhoo, all of the above notwithstanding (particularly the horror of your own mother reading sex things you have written), I should like to report that this weekend I managed to write 1,402 words on Saturday, and 744 words on Sunday.