Writing in Cafes
First things first - all my novels (But By Degrees, Such Crooked Wood, Valerie and Amy) are currently on sale for 99p/$0.99 for a limited time. Visit my author page on Amazon UK here or Amazon US here.
Now onto the more important stuff.
I wrote at the end of June about feeling immobilised in the novel editing compartment of my life because I've always edited best in my favourite cafe or similar locations. Just over a month down the line, I have to admit that my editing willpower still hasn't returned, and it's turning into a real problem.
That isn't to say I haven't been productive, at least a little. I finally managed to get the first draft of the third novel in the Valerie Series finished and, though it needs a lot of work, at least there's a skeleton there. Yet, aside from a couple of pages of one WIP, I still haven't managed any editing. I'm still immobilised in that sense, even though the world is gradually reopening and I've visited my writing haunt twice for coffee (not writing).
So, I read this article on Lit Hub with alarm. It looks at the history of writing in cafes and asks whether the habit is going to come to an end due to Covid-19.
Looking beyond myself for a minute, I know that public spaces are literally the only place some writers have to write - maybe they live in cramped conditions or have unsupportive family members or just don't have access to the resources they need to write. The things many of us take for granted (reliable internet access and as many research books as we need) are luxuries for some writers. They use libraries to research and public spaces to write - if cafes become transient places only good for coffee and cake, I worry about the ability of poorer writers to hone their craft. We all lose out from that.
I know I need to push myself harder to edit effectively at home. This block is more mental than anything, even though I know the atmosphere at my writing haunt has always been perfect. Writers shouldn't wait for perfection - we can't afford to.
So, I need to edit. And that means holding myself accountability to you guys. Expect more updates about my writing process and targets as I try desperately to get myself back into the zone. This pandemic's not going to take my writing life from me, not if I can help it.