Hello to all readers old and new. I sincerely hope that the New Year has started well for you.
Surprised to find me in your inbox? Me too. I didn’t think I’d be writing a blog post again for a while with the way my writing has been going (or not) in the last few months. But here I am. Back at a chair at a table tapping away.
I returned to the UK in the summer after living abroad for a few years. My life in exile provided me the opportunity to explore my writing ambitions because I was largely responsibility free. I was quite productive. And I enjoyed the daily life of a writer. Returning home to the UK, as I feared, was the kiss of death for that side of me. Not only was I swamped with ‘real life’ and a house renovation project but all those other things I’d missed whilst away were suddenly freely available to me and I indulged myself wantonly, like a long term prisoner finding himself suddenly on parole.
But cometh the New Year cometh the New Year resolutions. I decided that I needed to get back to my writing. I had to MAKE time for it. And that means giving up a few things, like TV and beer and sleep. So that’s what I’ve been doing.
In the six months before Christmas I’d not written anything new. I’d done some editing on my next book out – something I finished in Turkey – and that is now ready for self-publication. It’s called The Prole Soldier and should be out in February. More on that another time.
As well as time, a large part of my problem with not being able to write here has been that I haven’t found any place to write – somewhere I can be comfortable enough that my creative juices can make a mess on the carpet. While the weather was good I tried the shed but it’s too cold down there for that now. I’ve found somewhere now. I’ve put an old table at the window in my bedroom. The view could be better but it could also be worse. And it’s quiet this side of the house. I feel comfortable here. That’s important. Really important. And I am writing again. A few hours a day.
It hasn’t been easy getting back into things. I didn’t know what to start with. I had ideas for additions to existing series and new standalones. I started Jess Albion #2, working title The Avenging Agent. (Title of #1 was The Fallen Agent. Anyone see a theme emerging?) Things went slowly at first but after a couple of sittings the mechanics of writing started to return. I got twenty thousand words to the good with avenues to explore but wasn’t feeling that necessary burning desire to continue her story. I looked again at Booker & Cash #4 – I already had a good start in the bank from my days in Turkey. But again, the urge wasn’t there. I started an idea I had for a standalone. It began well enough. And then I had an idea that got me so excited a little bit of wee came out. Could I make some alterations and turn this into a Romney and Marsh? Could I? Should I? Would I?
I thought I was done with them. I had no plans to write another in the series, despite the series being my most popular. But I’ve never said never again. So I tried it. I adapted what I’d written. It’s going well. Most importantly I’m feeling that keeness to write about them. And the more I do the happier I am. I feel like I’m spending time with old friends. And it feels good. I don’t know how the rest of it is going to go. I don’t know if, when I finish it, I will deem it unworthy of putting out. What I do know is that I am back writing. I have found somewhere I am comfortable writing. I have characters I care about. I’m enjoying myself.