Writing about the struggle to write

man sunset 16x12inches

Quite a long time ago now, I decided that I would like to write a novel. I had several really bad starts when I was in my late teens, writing vacuous stories in an automative sense. I wasn’t one of those rich kids at college. I went to the iconic Shiney Raa next to the magic tree. You may think that this is a joke, but those in the know will have strong memories of this time.

In order to support my lavish lifestyle of Tuesday night Karaoke at Sinatra’s I had to work. My first attempt at writing was actually when I was supposed to be working, mind you, the second attempt was much the same. I had to work mind numbingly boring jobs. In the olden days of the early 2000’s I would work on a cash desk for the local housing authority. The only busy days were council tax days. The queue would be out of the door and round the corner. All well before electronic payments and smart phone apps. Other than that the rent office was like a ghost town. I’d be trapped for hours on end in a plastic box, reinforced incase someone went rogue and tried to shoot us up. Nothing like that ever happened. Thankfully, I guess.

lighthouse and fisherman 2011 by jo howell

But, the scenario was fairly crippling for a fertile mind like mine, so every stolen second that I could I would escape through the keyboard to some inane childish universe. Since I only worked these jobs for small spates of time, and the fact that I used to start a new story with every crappy job, not a single one of my half hearted ventures resulted in a finished work.

This is my third attempt to date. The story is different again, but it’s not tied down to the restricted system of clock watching, and getting one over on the local council office. I am now 30,000 words deep into what I hope will be a resolved decent debut of around 90,000 words. High hopes! My chosen subject is a political melting pot. The landscape of my fictional piece is constantly evolving as the madness that we are currently living in reality slowly unfolds. I have to keep revisiting the story in order to keep my fiction just about believable, when of course, the current times that we are living through seem so alien. I was a kid in the 90’s. Everything seemed pretty mint.

I’m an adult in the 2010’s and the shiny veneer of bubble economics has washed away to leave a bitter resentment for the scraps left to fight over. Joy of joys! I’m trying to write a humanist piece with rich resonant characters in a post truth age of Mockracy.

I’m just saying, I like to keep the challenges fresh and impossible!

the portal, roker 2011 by jo howell



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