Guest Post by M. Jonathan Lee
A couple of years ago I read M. Jonathan Lee’s debut novel, ‘The Radio’. Since then the next two books in the trilogy have been published, both of which I am still looking forward to reading.
My review of ‘The Radio’ can be found here:-
It’s an absolute pleasure to have Jonathan on my blog today with a very interesting guest post and one which I’m sure other writers can relate to.
“It must be brilliant being a writer, Jonathan…”
The death of a writer through writer’s block.
The number of times I’ve heard this. I have no idea. It could be fifty, it could be a hundred. I don’t know. What I do know though is that I agree with this statement. Most of the time.
I’ve been fortunate, through a series of what may be called lucky breaks (coming second in the Novel Prize 2012; meeting and befriending Sunday Times best seller, Milly Johnson; somehow forcing my way into being a regular panellist on BBC comedy show, Live-ish) I have managed to get to a stage where I am a (near) full time writer.
I still need to spend half my week doing my ‘day job’ – accountancy – to feed my wife and five kids. And, at the end of last year, I took a brave step and quit my full time job where I have been working for near fifteen years. The other half of the week is for writing.
You see “it must be brilliant being a writer”. If you actually write. And I haven’t now, for nearly six months. Nothing. Not a word. And it’s becoming scary. Really scary.
My last two novels were a doddle. In fact, my #5 best seller on Amazon, A Tiny Feeling of Fear, took no more than four months from start to finish. And that was writing late at night, looking after five kids and holding down a day job. But, the problem you see was that was in the first person.
Now though, I am in the midst of a real severe case of writer’s block. I have three stories that live in my head. They are all in the third person. I know how the stories work from start to finish. I know the characters, plot and exactly what happens. I like all three of them. But yet, I cannot begin any of them. I don’t know why. I simply can’t.
I have now got to the stage where I have persuaded myself that I no longer have the ability to write. I half-watch TV dramas and films and actually try to work out how I would explain what has happened on the screen. And guess what. I can’t do it. The words aren’t forming, third person is no longer working.
I know somehow I’ll pull it ‘round. I’m reading colossal amounts just to try and work out how sentences are formed again. It’s almost like I’ve awoken from some kind of coma.
And so, is it “brilliant being a writer?” Er, yeah. I suppose. When I am one.
I’d advise you look out for my fourth novel though, it’ll be either called: “George the Dog Hanger”; “Future. You. Now.” or “There’s more to life than life.”
I guarantee it’ll be good.
Because once I get through this stage I’ll write like I’ve never done before.
In the meantime, anybody who has any advice at all to get me through this current stage – please do write to me. I need all the help I can get!
(Note: Drugs/Coffee/ProPlus/Red Bull and frontal lobotomies have already been discounted).
M. Jonathan Lee
About M. Jonathan Lee
Twitter – @j0n4th4n_lee