So the book, for anyone who’s wondering, is still coming on. Although the means to bring some modern day realism to it - for helping close these chapters of modern day life in parallel with those of Geoffrey Chaucer’s day – has struck an unexpected obstacle.
Hence I find myself a little stuck on how or what to do, and where to go now or next, in making this parallel journey between two times. So hopefully this little blog post along the lines of this frustration alone may help….
When lacking inspiration to write, even if one is like me with a number of topics to write on for which the muse has been there before (but just isn’t around right now), one is advised to write. So what and where to find the words to begin?
“Draw on your surroundings, and use your senses to describe things”, the wannabe writer is told. Well, everything feels, looks, smells, sounds and tastes the same to me at home – even with this 30 day juice fast I am on which means I am not permitting myself to eat solid food until I achieve my target. There’s nothing there that spurs me on, aside from the latter – and I am not going to write about that now. I say “now”, because I briefly thought about doing that – and the only thing I achieved was to feel hungry. I may write about it if/when I achieve my goal of being the all-new slim, trim Matt.
So what next, Mr Writing Coach (him/her being a composite, in my mind, of all those writing coaches of the last 3 years)?
“Go somewhere new - and preferably somewhere stimulating”, this writing course instructor advises, “such as your local cafe.”
OK, so I’ve gone down to the local cafe, as shown below.
“Observe the characters at the cafe, and perhaps listen in to a conversation.” Oh, great, so become a noseyparker! I can see the headlines now – but just not ones I’ve written! “Man gets assaulted for listening into conversation at cafe”. (Hmmm, maybe that in itself is a good topic to write about?)
Nah, the conversation is as dry as hell here right now. There’s two not-particularly-interesting women who have now come in. They’re now chatting about the connection between weight loss and pregnancy - which is not exactly a topic I could see myself writing about (or wanting to).
“Take a photo, or use one you’ve recently taken” is the other advice. Well how about the following one?
It was taken at the public fireworks display in Bishop’s Park, beside Fulham football ground. It was on a cold early winter’s night at the start of November, where the occasional light spots of drizzle meant that the fireworks left smoky trails as they rocketed their way heavenward - adding to the effect of an otherwise mildly good fireworks display, but still not the best one I’ve ever seen. Nothing leaves a patch on the fireworks in Sydney, over the Harbour Bridge at New’s Year’s night along with the floats which parade past Cremorne Point.
So where would I go from here with that photo and memory though? Where’s that “stranger riding into town”, or other champion of change or conflict that will lead me as much as the reader on, as that experienced writer told me to include on that writing course in Bloomsbury (and whatsisname again?). That course was a rather curious one however – but dare I right about the mix of published and wannabe writers at that?
So where to go next? How would Geoffrey Chaucer have handled writer’s block, I wonder – and without all these advisors to tell him how to get by? Especially given all the subject matter he had available to him at the time (but which he was perhaps not able to, given his position or state of being at the time?)
Perhaps he just decided to take a walk….