Tuesday, 16 November 2010

An Open Letter and a Blushes Reader's Letters Page Scan

As you will have read, I ended up staying on the IOW longer than anticipated. What I was a little loath to admit – and a little in two minds about sharing with you all - was that this was largely as a result of becoming… sort of locked in to a drinking binge which then continued on having eventually reached London. Having written to my collaborating illustrator in the ‘States’ with a few words of explanation – having all but lost contact due to my lack of feedback to him – I gave a second thought to this reticence, coming to the conclusion that you all deserve an explanation as to my increasing erratically-timed postings to this blog; not to mention the delays occurring to the production of the new volume. Today is only my 4th ‘dry’ day – and it still feels bloody awful. I get bouts of very deep depression in any case, but following such an extended binge (relatively rare, thankfully) it can get so, so much worse.

It wouldn't have been so bad if my (usually) trusty netbook computer had been working correctly. Usually when partaking of a few beers my mood is elevated, my imagination and enthusiasm are stimulated and I often get a lot of useful writing completed. But with the computer playing up, added to the ‘downer’ that comes after such a binge I have this overwhelming sense of remorse, having wasted so much time. Yes, I could have switched to pen and paper, which is how the first two books started out life, but to tell the truth, for a while, recently, I seem to have exhausted pretty much all my reserves of enthusiasm. I think this is partly due to the way that sorting out the story-flow of the new book – bearing in mind that the work now represents well over a year of writing, on and off - seems to have become such an insurmountable task. It has become a real ‘monster’ and undoubtedly, in hindsight, overambitious; with the result that at present it exists as a series of disjointed vignettes (if exciting vignettes, I guess – though to be honest all the focus required as led to my becoming more than a little jaded).

Well, here I am, full of ant-depressants. The herbal remedy, St Johns Wort, usually works for me whereas the SSRI type things the doctors often prescribe - Prozac and the ilk - don't do much for me. So I am on buckets of the stuff and forcing myself down the gym, as that often helps. To be honest it is always a little like this at this time of the year with the shortening hours of daylight – just not usually this bad.

At this stage it all seems so overwhelming; there seems so much left to do. If I can get going at all, I would really want to get at least the written version up and published in some form by xmas. If I can do that, then I think I’ll be able to keep going a little longer and put a couple of months aside to complete the illustrated version – but no more than that. I think that come February or thereabouts I'll want to wash my hands of the whole thing, including the blog (although I might change the direction of the blog, or start a new one) - it just doesn't do anything for me anymore. For now it is all about getting that spark ignited again. What it comes down to is that writing can be such an insular and lonely task (though the blog helps), especially when the subject matter makes it difficult to discuss it with those around me. It comes down to many hours sitting alone. And it is such a thankless task with little financial gain to be had; the commercial take-up of this genre of literature seems somewhat limited and, through Lulu at least, often days go by between sales; it is all dribs and drabs. But then again, if I don’t finish it… what happens to all those piles of part-written stuff I have built up over the past fourteen months or so?
Finally: I have dug out this Blushes Reader’s Letters page (see above right) scanned and sent in by Allan. Thank god (thank Allan, anyway!) I still have a stockpile of these to provide a little light relief – I have little drive to get around to scanning any more of my own collection at the moment. It's that ever-popular 'adoptee' thing again! I am unsure of the origin of the illustration at the top of the page (something I blundered across a time ago on the webb somewhere) and I know nothing of the original storyline behind it. The latter makes it all the more intriguing, though, and although fat girls are not my thing it did at least inspire one particularly devilish idea - now woven itnto the new book's storyline. I just hope someone gets to read it some day. See y’all next time.


Anonymous said...

I really like Prozac despite the slight side effect of tinnitus, the other side effect more than compensated for it, but enough of that. Having just seen the illustration at the top of the page I immediately thought of Lavinia, talk about an extreme make over LOL

imreadonly said...

I'm so sorry you're feeling poorly -- depression can be a really tough disease to fight! I'd like to see the blog continue, but respect whatever decision you make. Hang in there, and please remember that quite independent of the blog or anything you write you are an important person and a person of great value to your family, friends, and fans. Hang in there, Garth!

Orage said...

Garth, don't take any rash decision when you're in such a mood!
I really would like your blog to continue!

Orage said...

I've just found a review of your first book here: