There’s only so much space inside my head and at times two different compartments are manifest, and they cannot function at the same time. Being contracted to read and evaluate other people’s work to strict deadlines (exam papers to be more precise), blots out all other thought. My own work, having ideas, writing, rewriting, scribbles for reworking, all stop, a door is shut. Even at a concert where there is only music settting me free to relax, I’m still unable to revisit my latest piece of writing, explore where I might go next; there is an iron shutter blocking any creative spark. It would be frightening, very frightening, if it hadn’t happened before. After many years of this same purgatory, I’m almost sure that I’ll reimerge, to go on from where I left off.
This is now when I can gather it all together, find where I was, which chapter, wonder why I didn’t leave some note to make the reentry easier. The old routine is what I have to work on, or better still a new one.
But immediately there is ‘Ladybird, Ladybird’ complete, formatted, the blurb composed – the worst part – and now for a front and back cover, ‘the dust jacket’. Images are to be played with, roses on a black background. Maybe this will be the one; a photograph taken at great risk to life and limb on a roundabout in Chichester!