Pop, pop, crackle, ping, pop

Well this isn’t working out quite as I expected, I have yet to move seamlessly from blog to creative wizardry. But then, that was probably inevitable. A blog is a short burst of whatever’s on my mind creatively. I can do that. But I have too much going on to settle to my novel. I can’t get the necessary stillness of mind. Thoughts jump around like popcorn in a pan. Pop, pop, crackle, ping, pop.

There’s Christmas and the question of how I’m going to get presents to everyone with the snow causing travel mayhem. I need to get to two lots of nephews over the next couple of days, one trip already having been cancelled at the weekend because the M40 was snowbound. Then we need to get to my mother-in-law in Devon who is doing the honours this year but she’s snowed in. She can’t get out to the shops and the Sainsbury’s van can’t get to her. So we’re doing the Christmas grocery shop in London and bringing it with us. We just have to hope the Devon lanes will be cleared by Thursday. Otherwise Christmas could turn out to be a snow picnic somewhere just off  the M5. Pop, pop, crackle, ping, pop.

Perhaps after Christmas I can settle down to my book. New year, new book.

I read once that an author – Jeanette Winterson, I think – had to move house every time she started a new book. At the time, this struck me as odd but I was impressed at what I assumed was a dedication to her art.  This occurred to me again in the autumn when I was madly clearing my desk, cleaning cupboards and getting the house decorated (in the wrong order). I was like a dog, circling on the spot but not being able to nest down and so pulling at my bed. Which led me to wonder: do I need to move house every time I start a new book?

I have pretty much written each of my three books in a different house. The last two were written in my present home but between books, we gutted and refurbed the place so, in effect, I wrote in two different spaces. And lo and behold, we’re moving again.  (Pop, pop, crackle, ping, pop.) None of this was by my design. It was just the way it happened. My husband had a brainstorm one evening about moving back to south east London and I thought, yeah, that feels like the right thing to do.

Maybe there is something in the old saying ‘out with the old, in with the new’. Something about clearing out the clutter, changing circumstances to alter your frame of mind, moving on physically to move on creatively.

I’m sure redecorating would have been enough. At least I’m hoping so, otherwise a writing career could prove to be expensive.

At least I’m not as bad as my friend who has a habit of getting pregnant every time she starts a new book. It’s like creativity is bursting out of her on all fronts. It’s lovely but she could end up with a very large family.

Does anyone else have similar experiences?


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