For months now, I’ve had a dry spell: I want to write, but the juices aren’t flowing. It hasn’t been writer’s block as such, but much more like repression I’ve observed with my clients who have a terrible need to keep something from consciousness.
The other morning, sadly, I’ve realised, that’s exactly what it is.
Since February, 2015, the centre of my creative life has been the Doom Healer series. I’ve lived as much in that world as in the one outside my computer. Since it’s my creation, I am no doubt biased, but I am convinced, my Bill Sutcliffe has the potential to join Harry Potter.
The story is set in our world, with the whole planet as its stage, and current times. And this world is changing so fast that anything written a few years ago is as dated as ancient history. No one can join into the created reality of the story if it departs too far from common knowledge.
There is the planetary disaster named Donald Trump. Then Bolsonaro in Brazil. There is the wonderful ascension of Greta Thunberg to world influence. And now, as the final thump in my guts, is stupid Trump giving the Turkish president permission to attack the Kurds.
None of this exists within my writing. I could revise everything, but guaranteed, by the time I managed to do so, there’d be new, unexpected events. A global financial crash? The second American Civil War? Britain rejoining the European Union? Pope Francis performing public miracles and uniting much of humanity into following Jesus’ message? In our world, nothing seems to be impossible.
So, I feel I have three choices.
1. Put four years of passionate work into a dusty drawer within my computer.
2. Completely rewrite so the setting is somewhere and sometime different, you know, like Star Wars.
3. Make it clear from the first word that this is an alternate reality, and the events of our day are irrelevant. In December, 2018 I did just that, and wrote a preface to the first volume. Later, on Caitlin Jans’ advice, I discarded it. If you have the time and inclination please read it and let me know if it, or something like it, would solve my problem.