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Surviving the emotional foot-stomp on creativity

The renowned Nicola Morgan, famously proud to be the first Google result for “Crabbit Old Bat” and an award-winning author of around ninety books, never fails to offer diamonds to aspiring writers. Frankness and occasional brutality are her hallmarks. But she’s usually right.

So, in my morning scan of blogs, I found her post today especially pertinent. She describes her personal experience of how emotional upset or personal crisis can throw a creative writer completely off kilter. She also offers possible solutions… Do go and read her post, then come back. 😉

I exchanged emails with Nicola a last month about a family crisis and the emotional shredding that went with it. But also about my strategy vis-à-vis my writing. I abandoned new writing, but carried on with brief, grabbed sessions of editing. I maintained contact, however tenuous, with my obsession.

Physically exhausted and mentally drained, my other half and I dawdled back down the M6 and M40. We listened to music, talked in snatches about nothing in particular. As we reached the ferry port in Portsmouth, we almost wept in reaction. We slept nearly the whole eight hours of the crossing. We’d never worked so hard, but we’d achieved a satisfactory resolution to the crisis through sheer drive and nervous energy.

Disembarking from the boat in Le Havre, we revelled in the glorious sunrise, refreshed in a strange way. Five gold stars to nature. We took it easy for the next few days, throwing vitamins, fruit, coffee, wine and rest at our systems. I picked up again with my Twitter and email friends. I fiddled about doing some more edits (see previous post). Then my diary peeped at me. The York Festival of Writing. I had to write something in preparation of the one-to-one sessions with an agent and a book doctor. The deadline was 1 March, but I had fixed 7 Feb as my personal one.

I sat down and wrote. And it came. I reviewed and fiddled, but my brain threw words at my fingers at an accelerated rate of knots and they typed.

Not a new novel, not even a chapter of a new novel, but a start. As is this blog post…

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