2016 so far!

2016 is one twelfth over, so in spite of speeding by, how’s it going so far?

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Horrible!

Sorry to be depressing, but I feel so despondent. I’ve been resisting blogging because nobody wants to read a string of misery, but I felt I’d neglected the blog for long enough. I started the year feeling very down, had a brief upsurge midway through, but returned to form by the end of January. I can’t motivate myself or be bothered to do anything. In fact, I started writing this blog post to see if I could!

I had a couple of lovely conversations with writer friends last week, which briefly lifted my spirits, where we talked about how difficult it is to be self-motivating all the time. I’ve certainly had more than enough of that over the last couple of years, struggling to get The Broken Road finished, rewritten and then out into the world. But despite the relief when it was done, there’s a huge sense of loss once a novel is finished. Like any big thing you’ve worked towards for a long time, once it’s over, it leaves a massive emotional hole.

There seems to be a lot of sadness surrounding us as well. Famous people you’ve feel you’ve known forever dying, and painful losses and issues for friends and closer to home. That doesn’t even take into account the scariness of the world at the moment. And as for the weather … !

I’m going to stop before I depress everyone too much! But even writing this feels like an achievement, and I’m going to make myself do another hour of something constructive.

But I’m going to finish with the final paragraph from Unravelling. Sorry if you haven’t read it and you think you might, but I don’t think it will spoil it.

Vanessa turns her head, straining for the sound of the sea. You can’t hear it from the cottage even on the roughest of nights, but when she lies in bed under the eaves, she sometimes imagines its soft swish lulling her to sleep. Now the sound of the waves is a distant whisper as if the tide is a long, long way out. It feels as if it will never turn,will never again come crashing and roaring against the Cobb, spitting spray and foam over the surface of the wall. But even as she feels her heart being sucked away with the receding tide, she knows it will turn. It will come back.

Unravelling

Thank you, Unravelling!

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20 Comments

  1. Spring is around the corner, Lindsay, and everyone feels better once the sun starts to shine and we can see greenery and lambs…with love – Polly

  2. Debbie Young says:

    Definitely the time of year when one is allowed to feel fed up, and bad enough without the passing of national treasures like David Bowie and Terry Wogan. I really hope you can join us at our next Cheltenham Authors Meetup, Lindsay – I guarantee we will make you laugh at least for a little while, and send you on your way feeling better than when you came in.

    Now tidy and polish your writing desk, buy yourself some spring flowers to put on your writing desk, or new stationery, or whatever else will make it look pretty and decorative, and then don’t write anything for a few days or a few weeks or however long it takes for you to positively want to write something again.

    This may sound silly, but have you tried colouring? Great for calming the frantic mind and taking you out of yourself for a bit.

    You are a writer and always will be a writer. You won’t lose that by taking a break from it for a bit xx

  3. Lindsay says:

    I hope you’re right, Polly. As always, thanks for the support.

  4. Lindsay says:

    Thanks for the good advice, Debbie, and for taking the time to comment in your busy schedule.
    I can’t come to the next meeting because it’s in half term week. But I have had contact with the lovely bookshop owner, and she’s very supportive.
    I’ve been trying to tidy my desk, but it’s a long, slow process when you’ve let as much as I have accumulate!

  5. Lisa says:

    It WILL turn, Lindsay, it will! And precious gems will turn up on the seashore…

  6. Thank you for sharing that passage with us, Lindsay – I loved that so much when I read it for the first time, and it’s reminded me of the sense of hope contained in those words, and in that story. You wrote that. You created that world. You did that MA, and published that book, and then got the book deal with Cinnamon for your next book. And then wrote another amazing book! You’ve achieved more in the past few years than most writers achieve in a lifetime, but more importantly than all of that you write the kinds of books that speak to readers, that reach out to them and delve deeply into their hearts and minds. It takes a particular kind of person to be able to write that way – perhaps a person who is prone to feeling a particular kind of sadness because you are so in touch with your feelings.
    I don’t know, but I do know this – you aren’t alone. You’ve got great friends – like the people reading your blog right now – and a loving family, and all those readers who enjoy your books, and your students and fellow writers. Coffees are on me in Bridgnorth very soon xxx

  7. Lindsay says:

    I hope so, Lisa. What a lovely thing to say. I’m going to savour that.

  8. Lindsay says:

    Wow, Jo, thank you. What an amazing comment. You’ve brought tears to my eyes, and I love your words ‘you write the kind of books that speak to readers, that reach out to them and delve deeply into their hearts and minds’. I hope so, and I love you for saying it.

  9. I absolutely concur with Joanne Phillips, Lindsay. January has been tough all round and I think many of us are struggling with our will to write and trying to rediscover the vim and verve we feel we’ve lost. Like you, I tried very hard to make January a positive start to the year but hey, it’s January, it won’t play ball. I couldn’t be more pleased for you that The Broken Road is finished, polished and out in the big world – it’s a lovely story and a thoughtful one and a moving one. Buy those flowers. Spring will come – it’s that bit closer. Sending love. Lorna xxx

  10. Lindsay says:

    Thank you so much, Lorna. I feel terrible whingeing when others are going through much more challenging things. I know it will get better, and others are going through similar feelings. I didn’t know whether to post this, but I want to use my blog for what’s actually happening to me, rather than being relentlessly upbeat. Thanks, also, for the positive comments on The Broken Road.

  11. Donna Brush says:

    Hi Linsday
    I always read your blog but don’t normally comment. However it’s so hard to see someone suffering and having struggled with ‘sadness’ I know how important it is to have people acknowledge it. So for what it’s worth, it will get better. On a practical level, be kind to yourself. Get a massage. Go for a walk. Have the longest, hottest and bubbliest bath (if bubbliest isn’t a word then I apologise). It sounds cliched but just the act of being kind to yourself and a little indulgent in a positive way can have a positive effect. I hope you turn a corner soon xx

  12. Maureen Hall says:

    I wholeheartedly concur with all of the above. Especially Donna’s post. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself a break and do something totally different that you will enjoy. All this will pass. ‘You can take a book away from a writer, but you’ll NEVER take a writer away from the next book’ …

  13. Pauline Holt says:

    Sounds as though you are suffering from the SAD syndrome. But spring is just around the corner for you. I envy you being able to see all the spring flowers and the trees full of blossom. I suppose the benefit of winter is that it makes you appreciate spring so much more

  14. Lindsay says:

    Thanks, Donna. I really appreciate your comments, and I love the word ‘bubbliest’!

  15. Lindsay says:

    That’s a really encouraging thought, Mo. Thanks so much.

  16. Lindsay says:

    There are already a few snowdrops and crocuses coming through in the garden, Pauline. They do help to lift the spirits, and I know things will improve. Hope all is well with you.

  17. Maureen Butler says:

    Do you remember, Lindsay, all those years ago when we were in the Writers Circle, we were given the subject of ‘Blossom’ to write about? Well, this is what I wrote , and I seem to have remembered it over the years!

    Bear with the bleak bare twigs of winter,
    For with time all things change,
    And the stark winter image becomes
    Soft and swathed in Blossom.
    You have been given some lovely advice, make sure you take it!
    I have just ordered The Broken Road, and I look forward to Reading it and coming to your festival work shop xx

  18. Lindsay says:

    Thank you, Maureen. Lovely of you to comment. I don’t remember having the subject of blossom to write about, but I recognise the piece you wrote, mainly because you wrote it on a scrap of paper (can’t remember the circumstances!) and gave it to me – I was probably going through some sort of trauma! I found the piece of paper not so long ago, although such is the way of paper and me, I’ve lost it again! So, it’s nice to see it written here.
    Thank you for ordering The Broken Road. I hope you enjoy it.

  19. Robin Heaney says:

    Lindsay
    I agree with Mo – do something completely different. I’ve just signed up for the Cheltenham half-marathon in September and could do with a training partner to keep me motivated. Chris Brasher’s advice for newbies in the London Marathon ‘Start slow, then slow down.’

  20. Lindsay says:

    Well, the thought of being a training partner for the Cheltenham half-marathon made me smile, Robin, so mission accomplished!

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