I’ve just come back onto my site dashboard after an absence of a good few months, during which I have also essentially neglected my social accounts, not written anything creative and barely lifted a finger to promote my lovely books of which I am so fond. So heavily distracted have I been by all things Covid, it feels almost alien to shift my brain now into ‘author’ mode, where I think of myself as a writer and as one who should be promoting my own books and my love of reading and writing.
I wonder, are there many others who have somehow abandoned their personal pursuits of pleasure, giving themselves over to a strange kind of hiatus in life? 2020 almost seems as though it was a rip in time, in which a year was skipped over and now, somehow, it’s March again. I talk about events that happened in 2019 as they were ‘last year’, and struggle to think about them as anything other than recent.
Writing isn’t by any stretch my main occupation. I have a full time job which, ordinarily, occupies my days and allows writing to be a downtime hobby. However, having not been at work for a couple of months now, I find that throwing myself into new stories, or promoting existing books, is not something I’ve been able to devote my time to.
For this, I don’t really have a reason. Like many, I haven’t found this period of social isolation and generalised uncertainty very easy, and it turns out I need to work in order to structure my days and weeks; without it I am a little lost in the ocean of time.
It is World Book Day tomorrow though, and this seems as good a time as any to try to move back into my mental role of ‘Rachel, children’s author’ and in my own small way talk about and write about my books and about writing. It is, perhaps, also a good time to begin writing again, since I am about a third of the way through my next book.
The theme for World Book Day this year is ‘share a story’ – what a simple yet wonderful thing it is to share. Of late, our means of sharing has changed outside our household (in itself a new way of thinking about the people we are surrounded by): we now look to screens for faces instead of across a room, we type, we skype, we zoom, we walk and talk. But, this doesn’t make sharing a story any harder. Stories are a way to connect to one and other. For children they are a way to help them understand the world they are in, and to create new worlds to explore.
I hope wherever you are, you can celebrate World Book Day in your own way and share a story with someone. Here, I’ve shared my little story about lockdown writer’s block – hopefully a page turn for me to a new chapter in which I get back on my game, and connect to the world of writing once more.