A Pandemic Baby (Not Actually A Baby)

Just a quickie to say that I have contributed a particularly silly and fun story - or one-person comedy sketch perhaps? a humourous monologue? not sure what you'd call it - to this week's Tall Tales Emergency Broadcast System podcast, which you can listen to here. It's based on those stories that you might have heard on meditation podcasts that are designed to help you fall asleep, but hopefully you will make it to the end.

While I'm writing this, though, it occurs to me that it might also be enjoyable news to hear that I have recently finished the first draft of my new novel, which I began last May, nine months ago, which means that it truly is a pandemic baby, other than not being a baby. It needs a lot of work, so no need to clear any space in your reading schedules just yet, but I am frankly amazed that it exists at all. Up until last week I was completely convinced that I had done nothing this pandemic other than watching television and occasionally trudging around the park, but once I finished the draft I was forced to accept that I have actually been working and, despite my best efforts, I have achieved something. I think perhaps the gigantic ocean of meaningless downtime in my days so overwhelmingly drowned out the relatively small puddle of time that I spend working that it made me believe that nothing was happening at all. And undeniably at times it wasn't. I would get so overwhelmed by what appeared to be the enormity of the task (to keep the watery metaphor, let's say filling a swimming pool) compared with the amount of creative energy I had (a teaspoon) that I wouldn't even attempt it. The turning point came when I decided that I did need to write every day, but that I didn't need to write very much. I settled on a minimum writing quantity of 25 minutes a day, which is the maximum amount of time that I am willing to spend staring at a blank screen feeling terrible and doing nothing. And some days I really did only do 25 minutes, but those 25 minutes do add up. And eventually, as it turns out, you end up with a full swimming pool, or to put it another way, a book. And you feel pretty damn good about it.

(It is possible that some of you don't even know that I write books. You can read about the ones I have written and actually finished and published over here.)

Meanwhile, enjoy the... monosketch? Sure. And I have 25 minutes of work to do.