One year on

A year has passed since I began writing this blog. Many, many months have passed without posting. There were many downfalls…
1. Too much work, not enough of the ol’ work/life balance.
2. The new toy (iPad).

The upshot is, the laptop was put away in favour of mind-numbingly addictive games with the added joy of touch-screen, whizz-bang fun times. It let me disassociate myself from the pressures of work which were taking over my life. It was a hard year.

The Rogue Writers Chapter is still up and running. Writing for me in 2013 became an anathema. At times is was an effort simply to attend the meetings. Old writing files would be frantically dug through in a sad, desperate bid to bring something, anything, new to the table. The members have been long suffering, patient and kind with my lack of new writing; they themselves being prolific writers of great quality.

A friend of mine, and a fellow Rogue, has written the biography of the niece of Madam de Pompadour. It took her years of research, of writing and of learning French to enable her to translate letters and documents from the original. Tenacious and talented, my friend. She then told me that she writes by hand, the old fashioned way with pen and paper. It got me thinking.

No delete button. No easy editing. No ability to edit obsessively before even a paragraph is completed. Just getting it down. And there is something peaceful and intimate about writing with a pen.

Pens and notebooks are heaven. That first blank page of a new notebook is a terrifying obstacle. Perfection personified, promising anything you write will be as perfect, as worshipped and as awe inspiring. It Incites a fear of destroying that perfection with the first, foolish stroke of a pen. The fear that the first mark becomes a stain despite all hopes to the contrary. Got to love a blank page, eh?

This Christmas, I received a beautiful Swarovski crystal pen and an A5 notebook. It was, it is, part of the ‘Literary Transport’ series, the cover depicting one of my top ten novels: ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird’.

‘For you to write when on the train.’ Mr Rogue said. ‘To get yourself started again.’

No pressure.

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