It’s a funny old month, January. I am not great on those overnight resolutions … the ‘new year, turning over a new leaf’ concepts don’t draw me because I invariably feel I am doomed to fail when I put myself under pressure.
But a new year holds appeal for a mental and physical clear out and a fresh start with projects. Anyone familiar with de-fragging a computer will recognise the principle of defragmenting and tidying up … it’s a good analogy for a spring clean.
Today I am making a confession … I am feeling very guilty at a lack of application to my writing.
In 2016 I began to write my second book. It isn’t exactly a sequel to ‘Into the Mourning Light’ but it follows similar lines and my intention is for it to be another useful grief resource. During 2016 and early 2017 I completed the first outline draft of several chapters for the book which is currently called ‘Living in the Mourning Light’.
The working titles are:
1 Introducing … Hope
2 Finding the Mourning Light
4 Gifts from Loss
5 Found by Faith
6 And Love Endures
Additionally, I began to pull together various of my blog posts from 2015 onwards to be incorporated in further chapters entitled:
9 Now the Light
The over-arching theme of ‘Living in the Mourning Light’ is the progression of living with loss as time elapses and illustrates how the process is influenced by the many changes and events in our lives.
A small group of people kindly reviewed the chapters as I wrote them to draft level and I subsequently incorporated their suggestions before the writing ground to a halt.
Several others kindly contributed their words at my invitation and I am very appreciative of their ready response. I have kept the contributions safe but their authors must be wondering if they will ever see the light of day (or indeed, the mourning light)
The remit of the book also includes vital messages around water safety and drowning prevention work in which I have been involved, largely through the RNLI Respect the Water campaign.
It’s easy to see that quite a lot of the groundwork for this book has already been done.
So what happened? Why is the book not out there on the shelves?
I suppose I largely blame the writer’s block which afflicted me following our move from Surrey to Devon in 2017. That was not really surprising – the stress of moving house and the overall changes to our lifestyle were a significant contributing factor but I cannot keep blaming this nearly two years on, can I?!
The book continues to sit patiently in its individual chapters on the computer, figuratively gathering dust both on the hard drive and in the paper file which contains the draft work and various items of supporting paperwork and quotes.
Another hurdle is that when I wrote ‘Into the Mourning Light’, I was working so the investment required to get it published was not such a problem. This time round, I don’t have the disposable income so I need to begin a round of submission to any agents and/or publishers who may be interested in such a niche book. (And if anyone has any contacts, please send them my way!)
The good news is that I have begun revisiting the initial drafts which now require updating and editing into more succinct chapters closer to the proofing stage. Perhaps the end result will be better for its long gestation!
So my resolve for 2019 is … not that is really a new year’s resolution … my resolve is to knuckle down and get this book finished. Watch this space!