New Year’s Eve. A time to reflect upon the year that’s gone; a day to hope for the year ahead. It’s only fitting that the final Awfully Big Blog Adventure entry of 2008 should be one which draws lessons from the events of the last twelve months; which looks at the highs and lows of the year in children’s books; which makes cautious but perceptive predictions about the future; and which concludes with wise wishes about where we might find ourselves on December 31st 2009.
Instead, you’ve got a bloke who’s excited about his new shed.
Well, I say ‘shed’; actually, it’s more like an extra room at the bottom of the garden (which, I suppose, is why the firm that supplied it is called Extra Rooms Ltd. A little plug there; but they deserve it). Really, it’s my new writing room, which I’ve been promising myself for ages - I first mentioned it on these pages back in August. And now it’s finally here! The long-awaited much-dreamed-of writing room is made flesh (well, wood actually. A shed made of flesh would be pretty yukky, don’t you think? Rather over-extended the metaphor there. Sorry).
Anyway, the point is that now I finally have my retreat, my little place all of my own where I can give my imagination free rein, uninterrupted by postmen and double-glazing cold callers, unable to distract myself with emails and the internet. Which means that this is where it gets scary.
You see, I’ve been telling myself that I’ll be a better writer when I have my writing room; that, free from distraction and able to truly concentrate, I’ll find the words pouring out and the ideas flowing. And, of course, when I’m in the house and sighing with exasperation at yet another phone call, or trudging down to the local library in search of that elusive corner of peace and quiet, it’s easy to tell myself that. But what if it isn’t true? What if the problem is actually me, and not my environment at all? What if I’ve just spent more than I earn from writing in the average year on something that will make no difference at all to my output? What if I am really just a very slow and lazy writer???
Pshaw! (Is that really how you spell that? It looks odd written down. Ah, well; no matter). Pshaw! I say again. Away with such negative and defeatist thoughts. Tomorrow dawns a new year and with it, for me, a new way of writing - or, at least, one with fewer excuses for not getting any writing done. I’ll let you know how it works out; but actually I’m quite hopeful. And excited. Which is just how it should be at the turn of the year.
Happy New Year, everyone; and to all the writers among us, old and young, rich and poor, published and unpublished: in 2009 may your imagination rise towards new horizons like the balloon of Oz, may your ideas multiply like the kin of Hazel, and may the words flow like the rivers of Narnia after the thaw.