Crickey, nearly a month since my last blog and it’s been an odd one! I paid a little visit to the Channel Islands earlier this month, for reasons I need not go into here, except to say that it was a useful trip and my long term affair with the Channel Islands continues unabated. I did find the perfect writing hut while there (although I’m sure it’s being used as a fisherman’s cabin in its current form). Isn’t it cute?
The trip did help me answer some ongoing questions I had for myself regarding my location but for the time being (at least at the time of writing) I’ll be staying on my current, albeit slightly larger, island. I found plenty of inspiration too; learning all about the fascinating life of Elizabeth Obbard of Sámeres Manor was definitely a highlight. I find the Nazi occupation during the Second World War particularly intriguing, and it was the basis of a short play I wrote almost 8 years ago, The Jerry Fag, which I keep meaning to revise. Speaking of which…
Writing wise, I’ve been busy, as usual. The Virgin Bog has had to take a back seat for the moment due to other developments. I wrote a short screen play, Churching, which I’m presently awaiting feedback on from the (potential) producer. I also found out that I’ve been chosen (among others) to meet a literary agent at the International Literature Festival Dublin next month (in 29 days to be precise). I’m delighted with this and while it’s mostly a discussion about how to progress with my novel Bitten By A Dog On Tuesday, you never know what will come of it. At the very least it will offer me some professional guidance and hopefully some insider information. In preparation for this and to truly get stuck into the second draft, I’m taking a week off from my day job. While I usually write in the evening (and whenever else I can) I find I get exponentially more written when I’ve the luxury of treating it like a full-time job. It also means that I can start to tackle some of the bigger story issues that I’ve been putting off, such as re-examining characters, removing certain bits, and the addition of another character/victim. Whilst it looms before me, I find I’m looking forward to it more than dreading it and I feel it’ll really push the story forward. One thing I’ve learned, and perhaps even taught myself, is to write no matter what. Don’t feel like writing? WRITE. Having a crap day? WRITE. Plans gone awry? WRITE. It’s not always easy but it has to be done. Even just a few hundred words. Even if those words have nothing to do with what you wanted to write about, it’s still better than not writing at all. And I’m a firm believer that writer’s block doesn’t exist (hmmm… I might write a full blog about this very issue) but if you’re having a day when the words don’t come easy, just write about ANYTHING. It will get the creative juices flowing and that in turn will relieve your “block”.
Beyond BBADOT and my scripts, I’m always working on and revising poetry. I’m a huge poetry lover and always have been. In fact, the first money I ever made from writing was as a child when I won £75 (yes, punts/pounds, and a substantial amount for a child at the time) in a poetry competition. I never understood how the other boys at my school didn’t like learning poetry- I usually found it enjoying! I’m still entering poetry competitions when I can and I’m happy that I’ll be included in the Phizzfest Poetry Pamphlet this year. I can’t publish the poem until the pamphlet is launched but I’ll post it online thereafter. Now I need to heed my own advice and get ready for my week of full-time writing. Though I do wish I had a little bayside writing hut to do it in.