The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading in order to write. A man will turn over half a library to make a book.
Quotation of Samuel Johnson
I find this quote rather encouraging as I am currently in a non-word producing phase of writing my novel. In short, it is in the drawer. I am told this is what one must do when they reach a stalemate. When they have tried re-writing the same scene a dozen times, have sat staring blankly at the screen for hours on end, when they have risen to sit, head in hands, tears coursing down their cheeks, for too many mornings in a row.
I have an image in my mind of my father, sitting thus (although, without the tears). His creased brow resting in a pair of big warm hands, his navy flannel pyjamas all wrinkled with sleep. It was his morning posture. And now it is mine. An, oh my God, how am I going to face the day sort of pose. What am I going to do without my novel – the project that has consumed me body and soul for the last six years? Will I ever get back to it? What if I don’t? Will my characters ever leave me alone?
I don’t know the answer to those questions. For now they are in the drawer. But I am reading, more than I am writing. I am thinking, sleeping, laughing, praying and trusting – yearning for a still small voice. I am confident – at least, I think I am – that in time a pattern will emerge.