“Work is so busy”.
“I’m too tired in the evenings”.
“The kids take up all my time”.
“I just can’t think of anything to write”.
The list goes on.
Writers are society’s great procrastinators, forever finding excuses for not putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).
And I’m no different.
Aside from (some claim unhealthy) daily absorption in social media, primarily Facebook, I have written little of consequence over the past eighteen months, in fact a total of twenty five posts on my blog, admittedly most of which were of considerable length.
But it is now three years since I published A Half-Forgotten Triumph with my late, lamented co-author, Martin Moseling, to some acclaim in cricketing circles. That was to be the – somewhat idiosyncratic – launch pad for a writing career that, frankly, was always going to be more likely to bring modest pleasure to a small proportion of the reading public than any riches to its author.
Based on a host of articles written on annual trips to San Francisco, I planned to follow Triumph up in 2015 with a book celebrating, from an English traveller’s perspective, the City by the Bay. By the time I’m writing this piece, I would have hoped to have published it.
A significant chunk of Smiling on a Cloudy Day: An Englishman’s Love Affair with San Francisco is still sitting on my desk in the nicely decorated binder I bought for the express purpose. Less developed is the manuscript of High Kicks and Red Rocks: A South West Road Trip which was the next planned work.
Now, this is where, in the classic writer’s fashion, I reel out my own excuses – deteriorating health and ultimate death of my father, which took a physical and mental toll, the passing of two other close friends, including the aforementioned Martin, two major operations for myself and, during this calendar year, the need to sell two properties and purchase another fifty miles apart.
Under cross-examination, I do believe I could make a case for partly justifying my inaction in respect of some of those issues, but, ultimately, my natural indolence took control of my writing energies.
But I can no longer cite them, or any other factors for that matter, as reasons for not getting “back on the horse”.
So it is time to dust off that nicely decorated binder and get to work on Cloudy Day, and following that, High Kicks.
And I will.
(I know – procrastinating again).
A slight spanner has been thrown into the works in the past few months which has had both a positive and potentially negative impact on my writing plans.
My new home on the Channel coast has given me both a source of renewed inspiration and motivation. Without it, I doubt whether I would have been able to exorcise those demons I listed above.
It has been the subject of my four most recent blog posts, the last three alone written in the two and a half months since I arrived in the town that had generated so many happy memories from half a century ago.
But the danger, of course, is that its charms might divert me from the plans I have just outlined for those two books. I suspect that there may one day be a need to make Folkestone the main protagonist of another, more substantial, piece, but, for now, it has to be the light relief, the day job if you like. Aside from the requirement to sustain interest in the upcoming San Francisco book, ever more important as completion approaches, it will continue to be the primary focus of my social media activity.
Now where did I say that nicely decorated binder was?