And so came December…

5 months ago I finished the first draft of my novel and, as you should, I decided to let it rest for a while. I didn’t think I’d let 5 months go by, but here we are! I have officially begun to assemble all materials and am busy going through and tweaking my old outline in preparation for structural edits. It’s going to need it…

The summer of 2020 was different in many way, and back in August my partner and I were lucky enough to be able to visit my parents in northern Sweden.

Do you remember that time? When restrictions lifted in Europe and we naively thought we were seeing the beginning of the end? When we all laughed and said: “Ah, when we come back to London things will be back to normal! Joy!” Oh, sweet summer child…

Our planned 3 weeks at my parents’ house quickly turned into 3 months as, you know, things did not return to normal and it was difficult to travel back. Also, I must admit we felt a lot safer in the remote Swedish mountains than in London… A second thing that kept us there was a very Scandinavian thing: Our cabin. Perhaps I should say our future cabin, as it doesn’t exist yet. We hope to begin building it next year.

This is a dream project that has been brewing for a while, though we never planned for it to become a reality during a pandemic when both health and jobs are on the line, so my excitement is somewhat tempered by fear that it’s all going to blow up in our faces. But if 2020 has taught me anything, it’s how to be a little more zen. But only a little. Most of the time I’m like a small child clinging on to a terrifying roller-coaster. And we plan to build OURSELVES … If you’re familiar with Scandinavian culture you might be aware that projects like these are more or less a rite of passage – so perhaps when I touch the hammer lots of knowledge will just come to me? Watching YouTube videos about carpentry is totally the same as training to become a carpenter, right?!

At least it meant that most of our time there was spent walking through the forest being eaten by mosquitoes and other bugs, which were nice memories to look back on as we went through London’s second lockdown. In other words, my Instagram feed will see some more nature photos in the months to come, though bookish and writerly things are hopefully going to creep back in as my edits progress. Along with some shots of mulled wine, as it is the season…

Happy December, everyone!

Summer of 2020

Hot damn.

That’s where we’ll start. Where else? I’m guessing this summer is not going to rank high in people’s memories and yet life has somehow, inexplicably and unapologetically, pushed on. And pushed us all the way into August. When did that happen?

I’ll not run you through the roller-coaster that has been my mental well-being, because I know we’re all in the same boat, and instead thought I’d add an overdue update on my writing goals. Being in lockdown this spring and then continuing to social distance was at first a boost to my writing (what else to do when I couldn’t go anywhere?), but as many have experienced, being creative in a crisis is an odd thing. Despite of all the ups and downs, I managed to reach a massive milestone in the middle of June = the end of my first draft.

140k. In 4 months. You better believe it’s rough.

I’m a hopeless time-optimist, so if I hadn’t been forced to self-isolate it would definitely have taken longer. I planned to take a month off and then start editing, but my partner and I decided to be a little crazy and go on a road trip when lockdown eased throughout Europe in July, and ended up going to my parents in Sweden. And guess what, we’re still here! This area has seen very few cases, and none in the last few months, so it feels incredibly safe and peaceful, and I’m unbelievably grateful that both my partner and I are able to work from home(-ish).

As fun as this new, random life is, it’s definitely messing with the day-to-day routines, so I’ve ignored my WIP for longer than I planned. To be continued…

How has your summer been? Has writing been easier for you in lockdown (if your region enforced that) or has it been harder focusing on being creative?

Hope you are all safe and well! X