Lying on the bed

That’s where I do my thinking. And sometimes going for walks. Lying-on-the-bed-time is what I lack these days. It’s midday on Thursday and I’m “working” at home. This morning I put together some sample reports for a customer and then, to reward myself, I went to lie on the bed. But that only lasted five minutes because I had to get up and rush into the study and write to you.

I’m going to post about me. That’s scary. I normally hide behind attempts at humour – a spoof guide to writing course attendees, or a fake guest blog by a writer’s husband. But it’s the twilight of the year and time for reflection, so perhaps you’ll indulge me.

This has been one of the worst years; probably the worst since my divorce. A tough year for many. Here’s my balance sheet.

2009 Liabilities
Mum died in May.
Have hardly written a word of fiction for months.
My business died slowly (redundancies, and an office lease left hanging round my neck).
The house nearly died too and was infested with builders for twelve weeks.
Have hardly written a word of fiction for months.
I worried incessantly about the economy (my economy).

2009 Assets
Finished second novel.
Zach started rowing at school.
When the business crashed, Jess offered to support me in writing, said she wanted to push me off the clifftop.
I got on the shortlist for the Bridport.
Have two new ideas for next novel.
Business has picked up a bit now.
My eyes are so level, I don’t even care about agent rejections – I smile when I hear the flump of an SAE landing in the hall.

To summarise a year in review: just as I had accepted my fate, resigned myself to a life as a full-time writer, stood ready to take the jump at the edge of that cliff, my work turned around. For the next few months I’m snowed. Isn’t it ironic?

The question is, should I try to write through the next few months (I don’t believe I have the muscle for it) or should I set my writing aside?

That’s why I need to lie on the bed.

When I lie on the bed ideas start flooding.


Susie Nott-Bower said...

That has been one tough year, Rod. Big hugs.
I love the way you write - whether you're being funny or reflective. Seems to me that this might just be about variety, with boundaries. Writing time, business time, family time, lying-on-the-bed time. Each are part of who you are, and each needs its place. And each provides its own clues and whispers as to what it needs, and when.
I wish you a year of joy, creativity and abundance in 2010.

Caroline Green said...

Yes, so do I. You've had an incredibly tough year and I don't think anyone can truly understand how it feels to lose a parent until it happens.
Well done you on all that work flooding it. I work 'full' time [school hours and evenings sometimes] and somehow manage to cram in writing, so it can be done.
You might look like hell though and sometimes forget to feed your offspring, like me :)

Gillian McDade said...

It's been a rough year, Rod, but I wish you every success for 2010.

Congrats once again on Bridport :) yay :)

And lying on the bed is good!

Fionnuala said...

I loved this post Rod - someday I'll be brave enough to post honestly without hiding behind humour too!
I guess my only advice is to try and live in the moment. Its hard when we have to 'plan' our lives so much but I think when we CAN achieve it - it works.
If you have to work, work in the knowledge that your creative side will still demand to be heard, and write when you can.
And be good to yourself - losing a parent can knock you for a long time...
I'm off now to lie on my bed and see what happens.

Essie Fox said...

Rod - that's a tough year. Don't push yourself too hard. Just lie there and let any ideas flow - and speak them into a dictaphone, or jot them down in a notebook. Nothing is wasted and you'll have such a wealth of inspiration when you finally feel the push to actually make a new start...often the thinking time is the most important. Very often, we need to do more. You might be sub-consciously fighting against the story you really want to write. Maybe it's too raw or personal. So, enjoy work (if you can) and Zach and Jess and don't beat yourself up...there's time...and there's all the good things in life.

DT said...

Hi Rod, thanks for posting something so uncompromising. It's good to take stock regularly - often what changes is not the circumstances but our appreciation of them and their impact. Should you wrote, right now? Absolutely! Only don't worry about what it is that you write; it's enough to put pen to paper and keep the channel open. Maybe write, for yourself, about your mum if you feel ready? Wishing you a brighter 2010.

Simon Kewin said...

How about doing some writing whilst lying in bed?!?

Geraldine Ryan said...

Lovely reflective piece, Rod. It's been a tough old year for you, right enough! But think of that Bridport short-listed story!

Susannah Rickards said...

So sorry to hear you've had such a rough year Rod. I had no idea about your mum.

I'm glad though that the year has ended better than it began, with Bridport and your business looking up.

Susannah x