Throwing the book

I started this blog to support my efforts to get writing. It was a week before England’s second lockdown began. Like a lot of people, I believed I had a book in me. And I thought the pandemic would provide the room to write it.

I’ve done a lot of things during the pandemic. I got into the habit of long midnight walks. I worked out, and then I stopped working out. I got into Pokémon cards, podcasts, audiobooks and crypto. I watched the Adam Curtis documentary series Can’t Get You Out of My Head, countless episodes of Friends, and the third series of Succession. I’ve been hooked to social media.

I also got engaged. I moved from one newspaper to another. I reunited with (real) friends between lockdowns. I’ve felt happy and ordinary between the dark moments.

I’ve done a lot of things during the pandemic, yes, but not much writing.

A new idea for a novel came to me a couple of months ago. Let’s call it a ghost story. Late last year, I learnt of a new competition for first-time novelists. I planned to write thousands of words a day to meet the competition’s deadline in April. My present word count? 1,300. Every sentence is a room but I can’t always find the key.

I could have added more words tonight. Instead, I watched the first episode of Euphoria with some microwaved popcorn and went on a walk in the rain while listening to Foreverland, a book about marriage by Heather Havrilesky. And then I wrote this.