Empty desk syndrome

I aim to post something once a week on my blog but last weekend I skipped it. Maybe I didn’t have anything to say. Maybe I didn’t have the energy or drive to write it. Anyway, I thought I’d better get on with it today before another weekend slipped by.
I’ve shared some odd pictures today, shots of my empty desk. Okay, not completely empty, but much less clutter than a month ago. Yes, there’s The Rialto, still waiting to be read, but the teetering and rather intimidating book pile has gone. While it was there (and those unread books had been accumulating for quite some time) it induced feelings of guilt and panic. Why hadn’t I got round to reading those books? When would I ever find time to read them? I realised I had to get tough with myself. With my current schedule, I had to own up to the fact that I wasn’t going to read them, at least not in the foreseeable future. So, I had to either make space for them on my already crammed bookshelf (out of shot) or I had to give them away to charity and to friends. I did both and it felt right.
Of course, I know I’ll gather more books and the book pile will soon teeter again, but clearing desk space has cleared a little mental space for me too. The first draft of my novel is slowly nearing completion. I’ve arrived at 70,000 words or thereabouts, although without really knowing how it will end. I do know it’s moving towards some sort of conclusion though, which I find reassuring. One way or another, it feels important to complete it. I’m under no illusions about publication. Although I’m coming towards the end of the first draft, there will be a lot of editing needed and that will take time, possibly as much time as the writing of it. At the end of all this, my novel may very well never see the light of day. It’s only at this stage, when I’m reaching the end, that I realise it’s the writing of it that’s been truly important. I needed to go through the process and I need to complete it, just like I needed to pile up those unread books in order to thin them out again, and hold on to what’s important. That’s writing. That’s life.



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