It’s comin’ on the end of August
Another summer’s promise almost gone
And though I heard some wise man say
That every dog will have his day
He never mentioned that these dog days get so long…
(The song, by the way, is ‘Waiting in the Weeds’ from the ‘Long Road Out of Eden’ album. It’s a lovely song, go listen to it).
Upcoming honest-from-the-heart blog stuff. Feel free not to look.
I’ve just come home after a lovely weekend away with the fabulous Nik Vincent-Abnett in the very pretty city of Lincoln. If you’ve never been there, go along sometime, it’s quite lovely. We were told over and over by random strangers to eat at Brown’s Pie Shop at the top of Steep Hill. We did this on Sunday for lunch after Dan had arrived and my word, the recommendation was spot on. Most delicious!
Note. Steep Hill is both of those things. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Over the weekend, we had a great opportunity to just sit and chat and it was something that was very much needed from my point of view. In case you’d not picked it up from the relative absence on the interwebs over the past few months, I’ve not been in a great place. Truth of the matter is that I have a long-standing tendency towards depression and it sort of sucked me up in its vortex and refused to let go of me. The good thing is that I’ve definitely started fighting back. But a number of conversations with Nik over the weekend got me thinking about a lot of things and one of those was a sudden need to look at how I have actually changed in the three years since I started properly writing stuff.
I’m going to come clean here. The root cause of the current low ebb is my own stupidity and stubborn nature. I didn’t stop writing pretty much for two years solid. I wrote three novels and a lot of short stories pretty much back-to-back in that time. Doesn’t sound a lot when you say it like that, but tie into that the fact that I also have a full-time 40 hour a week job. When I turned in the manuscript for Project: Loophole in March, I sort of came to a halt. And then the exhaustion came up and whacked me in the face with a cricket bat. Back when I used to go live roleplaying, I always said that it only hurt when you stopped. Turns out that writing is much the same.
As a consequence, it’s taken me a while to get the momentum back up again. I’ve hardly blogged in that time and I’ve written very little otherwise. But the point is… I have written. Even if it’s not been a great amount, even if I haven’t been achieving the same kind of wordcount I was pushing out three months ago, it’s still writing. But I have this ridiculous personality trait which means that I beat myself up over it. Well, after this weekend, I’m addressing that. Because it’s quite frankly stupid.
I am, to paraphrase something I said to Nik over the weekend, bucking my ideas up.
So with September coming on, I’m preparing to get myself back into the routine. I will come home from work, I will spend time writing and then I will do the things I want to do. Not the other way around.
I said to Nik yesterday morning, ‘for the first time in months, I’ve realised that I can do this’. The evidence is already there. The Gildar Rift and Valkia the Bloody have been pretty well-received all round and that pleases me enormously. Sure, there are people who haven’t liked one, either or both of them, but I’m not so small minded and stupid that I insist everyone in the world like everything equally. My short story The Ballad of Gilrain will shortly be released in the Fox Spirit Anthology Tales of the Nun & Dragon alongside other illustrious and awesome folks. The evidence that I can do it is definitely out there.
So if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to do some writing.