Many writerly blogs are a bit on the quiet side at the moment as many people take part in the annual writing marathon known as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The idea of this is to write, from scratch, a novel of 50,000 words in the month of November.
It doesn't have to be good, it just has to be there.
The month is an orgy of speed writing, never mind the quality feel the word count, and endless angst over targets and shortfalls. Progress counters sprout like mushrooms in the blogoshpere.
No, before you ask, I'm not doing it.
Real life is intruding way too heavily on my writing time these days to even think about that kind of output. Actually, I think that time is not so much the problem as energy.
Cutbacks at work over the last year have left my division barely able to sustain day to day operations. On top of that we have added workload imposed from above in the form of reorganisations, new planning processes, massive projects to deliver new political initiatives, and wholesale office moves to consolidate space to allow building leases to be given up.
People can only sustain that pace of work for a limited time. We've been keeping it up without relief and without an end in sight for over a year. Everybody acknowledges that it's a problem. Nobody is offering any practical answers.
I've been holding a cold at bay for the last month on a blend of Benylin and adrenalin. I came home this evening and promptly fell asleep.
Writing is a mentally demanding activity. When I'm in the groove, words flow smoothly for a while, but only after I've invested the mental gruntwork to envisage clearly what I'm trying to write.
At the moment, that is out of the question. The best I can hope for is to peck away more at revising Ghosts and maybe start putting chapters up for critique.
It feels a bit like watching the London marathon, seeing all those people braver than me pounding the course, and feeling their pain.
So...from the sidelines...NaNoWriters, I salute you!