So as my regular reader( ) will know, I haven’t updated this blog in nearly a month. To be honest, I’ve been pretty low and skint on inspiration since the move. This might sound really naive, but I guess I underestimated the impact of moving cities and changing jobs on my life and lifestyle. I had envisioned myself with all this glorious free time, writing and taking photos and painting and learning how to play the piano. Instead it’s been more like… get home. On good days, I get home early and try to spend some time cleaning up, and then the afternoon is gone. On bad days I play mindless computer games or browse StumbleUpon. I’ve struggled through a few short stories, but it’s really hard to focus. I gave up on two different novel projects, quit bothering to practice the few piano scales I’d learned and generally sat around in a miserable funk, disappointed with myself for wasting my luxurious gift of time.
I kept waiting for a bolt of inspiration, half-heartedly looking to the people around me to give me some kind of creative boost, plaintively requesting group writing sessions or photo walks. I guess it worked a little, but I was still struggling to find that focus.
It hit me pretty hard. Suddenly here I was, having taken a part-time job (with part-time money) in order to write, and I wasn’t writing. Cue existential crisis. It’s been my dream for as long as I can remember, but what if it’s a really stupid idea? I’m so unproductive. None of my friends seem to think I can do it. What am I doing, what am I doing? Is this valid? I kept thinking, I shouldn’t be doing this, but I still want to. Really. When I think about what I want to do with my life, it’s that I want to make people enjoy books and stories, as J.K. Rowling or Phillip Pullman have done. I want to write books that are absorbing and fun and make people want to read.
And at that point, I came across a pair of speeches, one by Neil Gaiman and the other by J.K. Rowling. And it was kind of like they’d sat down together and said, OK, now what does Nichola need to hear? And then said it. I’ll put the videos at the bottom of the post if you’re interested.
So yeah. Here we go. I’m going to do this thing, and I’m going to start small, with flash fiction. Five stories or poems a week for this month, and I’M GOING TO POST THEM ON THIS BLOG to keep myself accountable. I’m really hoping that if you read this blog you’ll be kind enough to comment and give me as much helpful and constructive feedback on my efforts as you feel inclined to. I may or may not continue with the Sunday Songs, because it’s actually pretty hard to find new ones. But either way, I hope you’ll keep reading. Because that would be awesome.