It's been a few weeks, and no mistake. As the UK has gone through the EU referendum vote, the fallout from the narrow pro-Brexit decision, the turmoil in the major political parties as a consequence (as I type my notes up for this post, David Cameron's last Prime Minister's Questions is on the radio in the background), other stuff has been happening, and lives have gone on. Or not.
[a few days pass]
It's Sunday now. Sometimes you have to let stuff mull for a while before putting fingers to keys.
I've not written much for the past month. Protestations to the contrary otherwise and occasional exhortations regarding the importance of productivity and whatnot on this very site notwithstanding, sometimes the words don't come. And even though occasionally the words have been there, I've not been able to dredge up the gumption to get going properly.
Cue being sat at the keyboard, doing anything - anything - to not make stuff up. Heck, I even tidied up my address list on my Amazon account. Times is hard when you resort to that type of inproductivity.
I've done the day-job kinda writing well enough, but the creative stuff has had to take a space on the back seat. Of a car up on blocks. In a lock-up garage on the wrong side of the tracks of a town I don't even live in.
But enough is enough and I've got to the stage where I'm bored of myself in this kinda funk. The sort of subwoofer discomfort where food doesn't taste quite right, where the natural harmonious working of your intestinal tract can be upset by the most innocuous foodstuff, and where you discover that your new superpower is determining the tensile strength of each of the springs in your mattress - rated by nagging though quite possibly-imaginary discomfort - preferably in the odd half-light in the hour before the hour before dawn.
The answer, of course, is to do the work. And to do it early in the day. Achievable though not pointlessly soft targets. A mental breakfast, setting you up for the day ahead. Otherwise, all I will tend to do is carry around the burden of not having done what I'm supposed to have done, and with hardly anyone around to chivvy me along. No-one after all, is crying out for another short story, novel, tweet, or whatever. Folk will only know if it was handy, diverting, fun, indispensable (or dreadful etc) until after they've read it. So that means it's got to get written first.
So, back to the keyboard. 1500 new words a day, though the heavens fall. And finish off the three-quarter-finished projects that have been getting furry in the salad drawer of the hard drive as a matter of priority. And get them out there, for good or ill. So that they're finished.
And that's quite enough of that maudlin talk. First world problems, and all that.
If you're feeling generous, though, you could do worse than this. Donations to one (or both) of a couple of collections set up in the name of my brother Paddy, who died a few weeks ago. This one's for Macmillan Cancer Support, who do fine and practical work in supporting those with a cancer diagnosis and their families. And this one's for the Willow Foundation, who provide money for what they term "special days" for those between 16 and 40 with a serious illness, and who were able to subsidise a CenterParcs break for Paddy and his family.
Oh, and if you're not on the electoral register, then make sure that you are. The last properly useful thing I was able to do for Paddy - the day before he died - was to vote as a proxy on his behalf in the aforementioned referendum. He thought that a vote was an important right to exercise; he wasn't wrong. Like they used to tell you at school sports day, it's the taking part that counts.