Well this is all a bit mad, isn’t it? I thought the financial and political madness of the last 12 years was unusual and turbulent – what I’d give for a plain old Brexit or financial meltdown now!
It’s been a hell of a time, hasn’t it? As I write this, we’ve just been put in lockdown (sort of) in the UK and we’re just over halfway through the quarantine period required after our son had symptoms of coronavirus. He’s doing fine and was never very poorly, just a bad cough and a slight temperature. But my step-daughter is asthmatic and we just went through quite an ‘adventure’ getting her home from her year teaching in Senegal, so there’s still plenty of uncertainty to go around.
On top of that, my daughter, who lives with her mum but visits us at weekends, now can’t come over for God knows how long. And that sucks. A lot.
But in the grand scheme of things, people are dying. And people are risking their lives to help others – trying to save their lives. And others are risking their lives to make sure we can all still eat and wipe our arses. And that’s what really matters.
My stepdaughter was reading an article the other day and it described people as feeling ‘scattered’ and that really resonated with me. It’s exactly how I’m feeling right now. My mind is all over the place, which is something I’m sort of used to with anxiety, but it’s not the same. It’s sort of *deeper*. I can’t really explain what I mean by that except to say it feels more absolute than the usual butterfly brain version of anxiety that refuses to let you think in a straight line.
Scattered. That’s the right word.
I don’t know what this will mean for writing. I’ve been struggling to write I Don’t Like Mundanes (the Carpet Diem sequel) for a while because of a number of things, but this has made it even harder. Writing in that world requires a sort of frivolous, flighty, silly mindset, and that is just not something I can access right now. When I can concentrate at all.
I’ve been toying with the idea of switching books and working on the second Eidyn book, since there’s a lot less humour in that and, hey, maybe dealing with an actual plague will be useful in dealing with a fictional one – but that feels like failure. I already left this book once to write The Lost War and doing that again just feels… wrong. Like a betrayal of some kind. I don’t know. I really want to write this book, and I’m sure I can – I just don’t know if I can make it funny right now. Which is something of a worry for a comedy book.
So I don’t know what the immediate future holds. For the moment, I’m trying to keep working on Mundanes. I’m fixing things I bollocksed up to begin with, like forgetting about the human need to sleep or getting time zones backwards. Once I’ve done that, which will probably be done tomorrow, I’ll see where I am. Either I’ll be engrossed and ready to carry on with Mundanes, or I won’t, and I’ll decide to work on Eidyn 2 so as to at least be writing something rather than nothing.
Either way, I think I’m just going to have to go with what feels right, and I thinks that’s true for everyone right now.
Look after yourselves, look after your loved ones, and everything else will follow.