Convention, Convalescence and Creativity

So, in my last blog post, I announced I was about to attend the World Fantasy Convention down in Brighton, get some inspiration and motivation, and then take a week off work to crack on with some writing. How did it go?

Well, not quite according to plan. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the Convention, but I did enjoy it very much: I got to see some great writers including Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and my personal heroine Robin Hobb. I met some interesting people – a mixture of fellow writers, agents, editors, and fans. I walked along Brighton promenade several times and admired the beauty of the sea in all its different moods. I picked up some tips on topics such as world-building and ‘that difficult second novel’ (timely!). I successfully resisted the temptation to buy any books, but did succumb to a vinyl copy of Janis Joplin’s ‘Pearl’ in a record shop round the corner from my hotel (it totally counts as research). On the negative side, I didn’t get a wink of sleep all weekend, and I suffered from terrible backache – the writer’s curse – which had me chugging back painkillers washed down with wine.

This all left me in a bit of a state by the start of this week, which I had designated for a detox and get-down-to-some-serious-writing. The detox bit has been going all right, but the serious writing – not so much. On Tuesday morning, whilst doing some exercises to try to loosen up my back, I managed to sprain a ligament in my knee, so I’ve been hobbling around, unable to either walk properly, stand up properly, or sit down without my back screaming at me. Less than ideal – I’m writing this lying in bed, propped up on some pillows, feeling sorry for myself. Oh well, shit happens.

I have written a few things this week, some of which may well be appearing on this blog soon, although it hasn’t been quite the productivity-fest I was hoping for. But you can’t force these things – with luck a bit of convalescence will help me ferment some creative juices for later enjoyment. And I have started developing an idea for a new character in Forever 27 – who even has a name!* – so my next task will be to introduce her into the story and see how she gets on with the other characters. I’d tell her to play nice, but I don’t think she’s the type. Which is why I’m looking forward to working with her.


*crap, while writing this, I’ve just realised her name is nearly identical to another character’s. Gah! Back to the character-naming board…

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