Chapter 12 this week has sent me back to 1948, and any writing I do about that era means I have to do a ton of research to get my head in the right space, so its slow work. You can’t go make yourself a coffee, turn on the washing machine, and listen to miscellaneous music – (The Rolling Stones - Miss You, Bananarama - Robert De Niro’s Waiting and E.L.O - Mr Blue Sky) and then think right, 1948. Or at least I can’t. So I have a CD called Number Ones of the Forties and am currently listening to Tuxedo Junction, a slow swing band tune by Glenn Miller. It would be even better if it didn’t have the underlying hum of the computer twirling the disc. I could go and play it on J’s mega boom stereo thing but turning that beast on means the whole flat vibrates, and I quite like our neighbours.
It sounds so silly, but the main thing that has stumped me this week is what shoes my female character would have been wearing. Normal everyday shoes and I cannot picture them, which means in the bit I am writing; I can see everything in that scene apart from her feet. And because I cannot picture everything, I find it impossible to write about. But I am behind, so I really need to crack on today.
Attack of the Doubts
I had an attack of the doubts (like the clones, but worse) last night. This last year my confidence has plummeted, not on the book or writing side of things, but on the real world and being a non-nervous, secure part of it. I keep doing things to try and challenge this state, such as my writing for the local paper, this forces me in a way to go out there and try new things, to try and join in. If you met me, you wouldn’t think I have a problem with this at all. But left to my own devices I do have a tremendous problem with self-confidence; I really am my own worst enemy and I know this, yet I cannot stop listening to that little poisonous voice inside that whispers worries to me.
Being at home alone writing probably doesn’t help… yet it is the only thing I have ever wanted to do, so I just have to work through it, I think. And then I read other people’s blogs about their very real concerns over the health of their family, or they are ambulance drivers or physician's responsible for others, and I feel a bit humbled and annoyed with myself. I’m only really responsible for my own state of happiness and ok, I’m a bit wobbly at managing that, but I am relatively healthy and have a great opportunity here (even if it is flushing away my life savings!), so really I should zip it. Consider it zipped.
I find it hard to commit to things beyond deadlines, even my yoga class and me only manage to combine once every three weeks. But I am really considering volunteering some time to a charity, or seeing if there is anyway I can help somewhere down the line. It needs a bit of thought, but even if it is just cleaning, perhaps knowing I was helping a little would in a funny sort of way help me. Or perhaps I could volunteer with writing/editing/subbing a charity’s newsletter or something… Hmm, now there’s a thought…
There is a local cancer charity that helps people in the community with that illness, and I got in touch with their main fund raiser this afternoon. The result is I'm going to pop over for a chat next Tuesday, and hopefully I will be able to help not only with their newsletter, but in a few other ways as well. Excellent!