Since completing my last book, I have had two periods of hospitalisation and the ramifications of recovery to contend with. So, in those respects, things have been less than plain sailing. But, interestingly perhaps, being a writer is not just about writing books; and the question was perhaps was I internet-savvy enough to do blogging. And the manner in which I came to improving my skills was my need to rework my main site. There was some advanced stuff about working with WordPress sites that I had not really mastered. The management of plugins and search engine optimisation are each big subjects, and there are layout considerations and the rather particular writing styles to consider; I had not earlier invested so much time in these areas.
Earlier I had liked to write technical blogs on IT subjects, but to do that on my new main site would have caused a clash of subject matter. But, also, being with a new and high-quality provider meant that creating subdomains and new sites could be done quickly; I generally have improved resources and being more adventurous became a possibility. I have had my first experience with more serious staging and experimental sites, too.
The subject matter of my one published book being my dysfunctional family is also not stuff that I need now to feel so shy about. I have the results of a brain scan which really does not make my mother look as though she was any sort of innocent person; she really did cut corners and was sloppy in her attitude. On the back of the bluntness of the evidence, shorter laconic articles have become more of a possibility for me.
Writer’s block, as it tends to get called, is often thought to be about finding some lateral-thinking type of solution. If one is a crime writer, for example, one will tend to become involved quite a bit in researching the subject matter for the purpose of devising plots. Expositions on morale and morality, as always, seem to come into it; enigmatic characters are important, too. There is always a downbeat struggle going on somewhere in the lives of the lead characters that is in some sort of counterplay with the inevitable build up to the solving of the crime. But lateral thinking does not really account for when and how things all come together nicely in the finished product; or, maybe, the finished polish — and this is more the truth of it — is the product all the many earlier investigations.
But whatever genre one tends to work in, there is a feeling of frustration-tinged endurance which needs some cultivation if one is going to start to become productive again with one’s writing. The art of the long cool analysis comes into play, and that is a marked feature in my life struggles involving my mother. My inveterate need to solve that puzzle seems to be where the writer in me comes from; for me, there can be no bland epithets or cliches. I am a bit stuck in having to do the detail and make sure that I get listened to.
Getting the right amount of detail depicted in the right places seems to be a particular thing one has to cultivate.