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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Forgive me Father for I have sinned, it has been six months since my last blog.

That's what project controllers call a critical milestone. Infant mortality amongst blogs is quite Mediaeval: most die within their first six months. I was going great guns from June until Christmas and then it didn't so much die as fall asleep. But now, just when it was about to be declared officially deceased, it has risen from the grave like Lazarus when his old mate Jesus came calling.

To what should we attribute this sudden return to life? To understand that, we have first to consider what caused the hiatus. Hitting the wall after six months is common enough to be a well recognised phenomenon but the causes may be as varied as the bloggers who experience it.

I have always worked to a rhythm that goes in cycles of a few months. I have learned that it is futile to fight against this rhythm. Daily routine may partly cover it over, at least in the office: but not when it comes to the creative processes, which depend upon internally generated forces.

This is not writer's block (except perhaps in the same way that various poorly understood mental disorders tend to be lumped together and called senility). Apart from anything else, there is also the simple matter of running out of things to say. One of the most sickening feelings to beset any writer is  the realisation that some ideas are not big enough to expand a short story into a novel, which was always a risk with my current book.

So there I was, struggling to know what to say next, when life dealt me a sharp jolt that got the creative juices flowing again. There is nothing quite like a seriously ill child to reset one's perspectives and make one see clearly what is important and what is not. It may be grotesque for motivation to be rekindled in this way but then it is not a matter of choice.

The Great Corporate Novel will yet rise out of the original ideas in my short story, "Aide Memoire": but it is time for it to take on a broader perspective that encompasses more of the rich absurdities of office life. Watch this space.