Friday, 4 May 2012

Must I?

I have nearly finished the novel I'm currently working on. I don't much like the writing part of writing. I like editing, which involves reading what you have written with a fond smile and then deleting most of it. It's quite satisfying.

I just need to do another ten thousand words of this manuscript and then I can stop writing and start editing. A few days ago I woke up early and thought, Maybe I'll crack on and write all fifteen thousand words today, and then it'll be over. And then I looked at the internet for seven hours, wrote a thousand words and went to bed feeling ashamed. So the next day I woke up early, and the day after that, and the day after that, and I thought, Maybe I'll crack on and write fourteen thirteen twelve eleven ten thousand words today...

In the meantime a few things happened which I thought were unrelated to my writing process. But, when you sit at home all day by yourself, writing/not-writing/whatever, after a while you start to see that it's all about you. Everything. Is. About. You. And it's somehow connected to what you're writing.

The first thing that happened was my cellar flooded three times. That's three fucking times, in laymen's terms. It's not too awful - it's not sewage (or foul water, as they ephemistically call it, as if we were committed to using the language of Bazalgette's time, when the Victorian sewers and storm drains were first laid in this street) and Thames Water are on the case. I just need to let them get on with it, remember to get lots of chocolate biscuits in for when the men come round, and also make a list of the floating detritus (1 pr men's black trainers, 3 x bottles Peroni, 2 x bicycles, 1 x lawnmower, 1 x garden hammock, etc.) with approximate value and send it off to my insurance company, who will no doubt draw my attention to clause 6.1 of my policy, or whatever it is, and refuse to pay.

At first the flooding was all quite amusing, with cheery capable men tramping through the house with their hoses to pump the water out, affording the opportunity for quite a long, vulgar chat on Facebook with friends on Saturday night on the subject of hoses, sucking, pumping, etc. incorporating every saucy double entendre you can think of. However what seems quite amusing on a Saturday night can seem like a bit of a chore on a weekday, can't it?* And they had to come back on Thursday and they'll be back again on Tuesday.

So that was the FLOOD.

Instead of thinking, Is the universe trying to tell me something? Is this a warning or even a punishment of some kind? I pissed about on Facebook with my vulgar chat, and didn't finish my book.

Then last night the screen on my computer stopped working. It packed up without warning and now there is only a distorted blur. Fortunately I backed up all my work and I have a backup computer I can use for simple word processing, so as computer-related disasters go, it's not that terrible. In fact it's not terrible at all, nor is it a disaster. But I can't get on Twitter or Facebook. I can get on the internet, hence I'm writing this, though it's more difficult than it would be on my normal computer, so after tonight I'm going to abstain until my new one turns up.**

So that wasn't even pestilence or plague, that was the DESTRUCTION of the means to fritter away my time on Facebook and Twitter.

The universe is trying to tell me to finish my bloody book. So I will. In the meantime, if you're friends with me on Twitter or Facebook and I seem to be ignoring you, I'm not. You said something funny and I didn't reply? I didn't see it, is all.

I'm going to finish my book, go to Manchester for the World Premiere of Street of Dreams (the Coronation Street musical), return to take delivery of my new computer, and then I'll be back online. And I'll be editing, so I'll be in a verrry good mood. We should go for a drink or something. Except that I'm not drinking because I've got to finish this bloody book. And after I've finished this one, I've got to write another one.

* Yes, the whole FB conversation was like that, only cruder. Sorry.

** I'll still be checking my emails. I haven't completely foresworn contact with the outside world.