At times like this, writing stories, however much they mean to me, means nothing in the big scheme of things. The only positive slant I can take from this moment in history is that perhaps we’ll stop hating ourselves and despising our own values. And perhaps our leaders will stop surrendering to managed decline. Perhaps we’ll re-enter the real world. I’d like to think so.
I touch on this putative change to the world order from an English perspective in the fourth Mark Barrett story Gun Jesus (I’m busy editing the first draft). Mark has been offered a job flying the Regiment to trouble spots and he’s chatting with special forces officer Tom Jarvis about Britain’s role in the world.
‘It’s not all bad news; England was always better as a small, independent nation. The Empire was a mistake, the East India Company metastasized and we ended up owning half the fucking world, a role for which we were barely qualified. I doubt we’ll make that schoolboy error again. I’m hoping we’ll go back to doing what we do best.’ ‘Which is?’ ‘Drinking beer, taking the piss, and making a barely legal living as an international pirate state.’
I finally got my old hard drive from my drowned MacBook, and the documents it contained. I looked at Gun Jesus, a book I’d been working on but hadn’t gone as I’d liked. I read through it and two things became apparent.
It needs full rewrite.
But it’s complete. It’s done. The first draft is finished.
When did that happen? I really don’t know.
Writing, to me, seems to be a lot of standing about thinking, then a lot of writing that I can’t remember, then a finished product that surprises me.
It might be out in time for the originally planned date. Summer 2022.
I spent years where my writing output was limited by time and the requirement to pay the rent when my books weren’t selling too well. Now that I’m in a position. of not needing to work, I find it difficult to write.
The days of getting up at 4am, lodging myself in MacDonalds from 5-7.30am, then going to work were actually very productive. Current days of getting up at 8am, mooching about and thinking about sitting down to write are not so productive.
So the task I have is to block off two hours some time in the day when I can’t do other stuff. That means MaccyDs or Costa, cos my office is too close to temptations like books, YT, the kitchen, my dog etc.
Even this journal has suffered from my not working – entries are down about 80%.
post-script – I just got a thing to do that will keep me very busy for a couple of months. Very excited!