I recently revisited this site with the notion of writing a new post, and wanted to be reminded of the subjects I’d already covered… But before I could begin reading, I clocked, with real shock, the date of my last post, which was approximately two and a half years ago. Two and a half years. At first, I couldn’t believe it, and I was genuinely convinced that that there had had been some kind of error. But, of course, there was no error.
Some things just skew our perceptions of time, or the passage of time, more than others, and one of them, perhaps unsurprisingly, appears to be loss.
Without going into too much tedious backstory, loss of one kind or another has blighted my life for the past few years, with family members and friends passing on, illnesses, and other assorted traumas. But, you know, I thought I’d dealt with them all fairly well, and that my work as a writer had gone on pretty much as it always had.
Again, I was wrong.
It became clear to me as I read the date of my last post here, that although I had imagined that I was still maintaining my creative life alongside its other, more mundane, twin, it simply wasn’t true.
Oh, I’d been updating book covers, updating content, re-posting my pieces on the craft of writing fiction on other sites, and dabbling with new projects… but to all intents and purposes, I had actually stopped. I was just going through the motions while my actual emotions, my heart and my mind, were elsewhere, faraway in the past, pondering deeper riddles than why the one-armed man killed the one-legged man with a camera tripod in the vicarage garden that fateful Sunday morning… (although, that is a pretty good story).
I know that it’s entirely natural, and appropriate, to mourn for what has been loved and lost. To grieve. Of course it is. But it is also entirely natural to emerge from that reflective state with a new sense of purpose.
As a person, as a human being, and a writer, this feels like a reawakening – and the simple process of writing and eventually posting this blog feels like a part of it.
I am rediscovering the fact that the creative process has a momentum, a joyful, life-affirming momentum, which is wonderful to experience after such a long period of stagnation. The past, I have learned, will always be with me, but now, more than ever, the future looks like an open road to wherever I want to go. Onwards and upwards, farther up and farther in.
To a writer, life is fiction, and fiction is life.
It's a new dawn, and new day, and I'm feeling good.
At this point, I should mention that my evil alter-ego, the fiendish Jim Mullaney, has a rather different take on my long silence, coloured, I have no doubt, by the fact that it was his short story collection that I should have been working on all the time…
If you’d like to read his fevered version of events, please follow this link… and may I apologise, in advance, for the bad language: