Updated: Nov 6
I want to ask you how you are, really I do. But honestly, dear readers? I'm afraid my little blog wouldn't be able to handle the passionate onslaught of opinions flung at it from every conceivable angle.
Today, in the UK, is the first day of our second official national lockdown. It's total pants. Whether you're in the 'Corona-is-out-to-get-us-let's-do-everything-they-say' camp or the 'it's-all-very-fucking-convenient-bordering-on-fascism-isn't-it? camp, or if you're still deciding where to tap in your tent pegs, it's still, indisputably, pants.
I walked Little Lad to school this morning, giggling all the way at his pompom hat propped up into a comedy triangle by the top-knot buried inside it, trying to get myself into lockdown mode. I realised, as we hot-footed it down the hill in an effort to get to Gate 3 at the school by the new ridiculously early deadline, that I have done absolutely nothing to prepare for lockdown this time.
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For starters, I have just one bar of chocolate in the house which will hardly suffice.
Half a packet of loo roll lurking in the airing cupboard does not scream of preparation, now, does it?
My craft supplies are dangerously low aka, possible reduced sanity levels.
We are meant to be moving house in the new year and I have already packed a hella lotta stuff. The Lads don't know where their shit is and neither do I.
I have no back-up plan for if the Lads get sent home from school. I'm sticking my big, silly ostrich head in the sand when it comes to the possibility home-schooling.
I've only ever done a Zoom pub quiz once and that was last weekend for Halloween so I'm hardly the seasoned professional.
I have never elbowed a pensioner at Sainsbury's over the last tin of butter beans (honest).
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You might worry I won't survive. But I tell you that I will.
And that's because I have arranged for my overactive, creative little brain to have a project for the month. Nope. It's not clearing the garage (although I should probably, most definitely do that). I'm not shabby-chicing anything and I don't think the laws of Facebook would authorise me to sell even one more piece of tat on Marketplace. This, my friends, is a new writing project.
Have you heard of #NaNoWriMo? I had. But only because I stalk an alarming number of authors on social media. Basically, it's when you dedicate the month of November to writing a total of 50,000 words on a new writing project.
I have lost count of the number of people who have, upon hearing I am an author, followed up by saying something along the lines of . . . "Oh, I've always wanted to write a novel. I've just never got around to doing it."
Well, thanks to National Novel Writing Month, you can get around to it.
The idea is to do a little bit of writing every day and not worry too much about the overall quality. It's simply a way to get the words down and create the beginnings of a viable novel. Crafting and artistry can come later.
As you know, I already have two novels released, Life Is Yours and Destiny Is Yours. And in the not-too-distant-future, there will be a third to complete the trilogy, called Everything Is Yours. And whilst the third book really does need my attention in terms of some final editing, I couldn't resist the temptation to start on something completely different for #NaNoWriMo2020
For a while now, I've had this idea. About ten years ago, I was living in the Scottish Highlands with my husband and Big Lad (when he wasn't so big). One night, when the hubby's charms were working full pelt, I somehow offered to support him in his month-long fasting for Ramadan, by fasting along with him. Therein followed a very interesting month of mood swings, rumbly bellies and very short fuses.
But there was also some enlightenment, some spiritual advancement and therefore a chance for me to really get to grips with becoming a mum. I blogged about the experience on a daily basis and those blog posts have been gathering virtual dust ever since.
So, lucky for me, there hasn't been a massive amount of planning to do for #NaNoWriMo. Whilst other writers Insta'd the hell out of their fancy planning strategies, I printed out my old blog posts, decided to call the new novel 'My Little Ramadan', and thought I'd get by on a wing and a prayer.
So far, Day 5, that approach seems to be working.
It's intense, and I know that finding time to write every day will be hard. First couple of days I was completely in love with the idea of 'My Little Ramadan', but now the doubting demons are sneaking in on occasion and making me question it all. But, I know this process. The Life Is Yours trilogy took me an entire decade to write, chiefly because of such demons, so I'm not allowing them monopoly on my creativity this time.
Regardless of whether or not the idea is good, I am going with it and at least I will have something to work with by November 30th.
So keep an eye on my social media accounts if you like the sound of 'My Little Ramadan', as I'll be posting daily updates and teasers about how I'm getting on. It could, with a bit of luck, be the next Eat, Pray, Love.
That's how I know I'll get through this second lockdown. The structure and clout of #NaNoWriMo has given me the confidence I need to shoo my Lads away towards Netflix and bags of Haribo so that I can get the word count up. I doubt they'll be complaining.
I'd love to know what creative things you might be doing to keep sane during lockdown. It doesn't have to be something as epic as writing a novel. Maybe you're cultivating some tomato plants? Learning how to cook something other than cheese on toast? Reading a totally brilliant book? Doodling to your heart's content? Nailing the latest TikTok dance? I don't care what floats your creative boat, as long as you realise you have one, and that it needs to be set out to sea on occasion.
Fair winds. Big love. Go well.
P.S. If you enjoyed this blog post then make sure you sign up to read more of Abigail's stuff, as well as get a FREE hidden prologue to her debut novel, Life Is Yours. Sign up here.
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