A few of you who follow me may recall my somewhat occasional & fanciful notion that Virginia Woolf is my muse. My admiration for her writing has sometimes led me to place imaginary trays of tea & buns outside her metaphorical door, with the aim of persuading her to lend her genius to my lesser & more lowly pursuits.
In other, more realistic, muse-related ramblings, I call on my word birds. And let’s be honest, they’re far more likely to aid me than the ghost of Mrs Woolf.
In these odd times, I confess to having struggled over the past week. Largely due to political shenanigans. (Let’s not dwell – this is a blog about my work, not my ‘men in grey suits where are all the women and the joined-up thinking?‘ observations.) Trying to get my old head around the new regime & telling myself, there is always the new story to write!
The interwebs have been awash with writer-focused memes, not least the one about how Will Shakespeare penned both King Lear & Macbeth during the plague. Aimed, I’m sure, at reassuring us that all we need to do is ignore the firestorm, hibernate, knuckle down & crack on with the latest book. All well & good but the reality is, anxiety is a poor bedfellow for the muse.
I’m hearing many stories, online & from my writer friends, about how they’re struggling to concentrate. How the plan to use this enforced time of solitary existence to write is already falling by the wayside.
A few weeks ago I began writing my fourth book. I love it to bits & if it isn’t quite writing itself (that would be a trick worthy of a witchy woman!) it is coming along nicely. Having lost some of my hwyl for the act of writing per se, rather than the story, I know this is a crucial moment. It’s an opportunity to write a story that wants to be written. No excuse not to. There are weeks, possibly months of this hibernating lark ahead of me so a grip must be got!
A myriad muses (musii?) for all my writer friends! And whether the shade of Mrs W likes it or not, I’m calling up one of my favourites quotes.
Onward & sideways as my mum used to say. Apposite on Mother’s Day too! I kissed her picture this morning & like to imagine, she kissed me back.