Well I’m back, and I’m glad. Taking a break from the blog over the last couple of months, although a very good idea, left me feeling a little cold and on occasion, paranoid. After the first month I felt unsettled. I began fretting and doubting. Would I lose my voice? Would my imagination seize up like an old Victorian mill? The wheel broken and rusted, the spokes forgotten under a layer of thick moss. I liken my imagination to a well stretched bicep. What of its tone when autumn returned? Would it sag from lack of inspiration?
But it was hard knuckling down to any writing over the holidays, especially with a four-year old in tow. She came first. She always comes first. I wrote character monologues for my novel the odd evening, touched base with my mentor, but all in all that was about it. I think I am going to have to accept that summer will never be a great time for words. And besides, there was so much I wanted to read as well. The big summer read this year was The Goldfinch. Blimey, it took ages… personally, I think it could have done with a sharper (and more brutal) edit, but hey ho. There were parts I glossed over, and others I thought genius, but honestly, I found my patience wanting with all the intricate minutiae on furniture restoration, although I did love Hobie (there was something of Dumbledore about him )… and if the story had been better edited, I think the ending’s beauty could have made for a far more wondrous treat. As it was, I was quite relieved to reach the final sentence. Another novel I enjoyed was The View On The Way Down by Rebecca Wait who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Latitude Festival in July. She was reading an excerpt from her book, and we had a little chat afterwards. I found her lovely and engaging. Just hope I didn’t overwhelm her with all my questions. My enthusiasm does have a tendency to run away with itself.
The very best thing I did for my writing this summer was a trip to IKEA. Yes, a trip to the land of yellow and blue. And now, at long last, I have my own little writing bureau that sits (for the time being) under the mirror in the living room, and I love it, really, really love it. I’d been hungering after one for a while. It makes such a difference having a dedicated space that isn’t the kitchen table. I love the ritual of opening the lid, preparing myself for the day, and then shutting it again before bed, like a good feng shui full stop; better than the tilting pile I’d leave behind on the other table. I have a cubby for note books and one for general administration. I also purchased a smart grey table lamp that sits on the top. I am really rather pleased. Guess I’m one happy writer all ready and set for the autumn…
I completely agree that summer just isn’t a time for writing. For recharging batteries and finding new inspiration perhaps, but I’m feeling much more motivated to get on with the novel now autumn is in sight. I find having a dedicated writing space really valuable – enjoy your new desk, it looks fab! 🙂 #whatimwriting
Me too…. novel time will be this autumn! I am loving my new desk!
Sounds like you had a fabulous summer and are ready to crack on with the writing now! I absolutely love your desk, I can see why the trip to Ikea was a highlight 🙂 #whatimwriting
I had a great summer, thank you. And ready to crack on now. The desk rocks!
Ooh a writing bureau, how fab! And I totally agree, the summer is always going to be tricky when with young children-I’ve realised that this year especially 🙂
I love it! I feel more of a writer now! From now on I’m pretty much writing off summers – it’s pretty much impossible to write properly then.
Totally agree-summer is for everything else but writing and if you get any done at all it’s a bonus 🙂
Oooh there’s so much in this I want to comment on!
The Goldfinch – FAR too long. Totally agree it needed editing. Very brutal editing. I honestly have no idea what the (positive) fuss was about that novel at all. And it says something that I can’t even remember the ending… maybe I drifted off? (Am I being too harsh? I did love Hobie!)
The View on the Way Down – whole different ball game. I loved it. It was so moving and the ending was just beautiful and has totally stuck with me – in fact I’m feeling emotional just thinking about it. Think I would have been over-enthusiastic meeting Rebecca Wait too!
It’s very interesting to hear about the effect that having a blogging break had on you. A lot of bloggers seemed to withdraw for the summer and I had wondered how you all found the experience. But as for the biceps, you’ve no need to worry – I can see even from this post that your imagination is devoid of bingo-wings!
Your new desk looks fab and it sounds like you’re all ready for an autumn of writing! hooray!
Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting x
No I don’t think you are being too harsh at all. It was so hyped as a novel, even months before it was finally published. I feel for Donna Tartt – she’s been so elevated as a writer (she is a great writer though) and plonked on a literary pedestal; greatness will always be expected of her…. and like you I loved The View On The Way Down (I cried). I think breaks over the summer are going to become common place for me, but it is great to get back to it again. I love my new desk! X
Ah, you know I love that desk. (And I’m slightly jealous too.) So glad you’re back on it for the Autumn. Don’t forget to keep us updated on that epic novel of yours. x
The desk rocks :o)…. It’s good to be back, and absolutely, I will keep you updated with my novel – your linky is perfect for that! X
I find a writing break is a good thing. I did very little writing on the book and hardly blogged this summer. I now feel refreshed and full of ideas.
Your writing corner is lovely. 🙂 I am lucky enough to have a whole office to myself and greatly appreciate having my own space.
I saw the new writing linky on Facebook and shared it. I will join in to. 🙂
As for The Goldfinch, I am planning on reading it too. Your comments are very interesting and I am quite curious now. xx
That’s also how I’m feeling now…. and funnily enough, I got to know my characters better, they’ve matured some what, which is a good thing. You have your own office? How wonderful. I do love my little writing corner. Let me know what you think of The Goldfinch. X
I’ve found I’m at my most creative during summer (not sure why) so lots of brainstorming sessions during those ‘bitesize’ times (also with 4 year old in tow by the way!). As for your bureau. Oh my goodness me, I may be making escuses to go to Ikea soon! #WhatImWriting
Like you, I’ve certainly had lots of bright ideas, just not had very much time to write them down :o). I can highly recommend the bureau!
I think I will seriously consider a complete break next summer (although even writing that makes me nervous!), it was so hard to sit down and write anything this summer, and I just write short pieces! I can’t imagine trying to keep up with a bigger project x #whatimwriting
When you have children summer can be particularly challenging for writing. It’s very difficult finding the time to write. I had a go at waking up in the early mornings last summer but that didn’t work for me…. X
Good to have a break I think…takes the pressure off and means you can enjoy the summer without feeling you should be writing. I’d love to hear more about how the relationship with the mentor is working out – would you recommend it? Love the writing desk and well done for getting to the end of the Goldfinch, as you know – I’m still plodding through it! x
It really made a difference, and like you say it took the pressure of the shoulds and coulds and oughts toos! The mentoring relationship is going very well and I can highly recommend it, and when I have a moment I would like to write about it. Where are you at with The Goldfinch? X