It certainly makes a break to have finished my next book. I mean the actual writing Its taken about 16 months of non-stop work which didn’t just involve the actual writing.
It involved much more than that and must have cost me hours upon hours of ‘abnormal’ sleep routines in the process. It was not just the writing. If only it had been that simple! It was not like writing fiction (well I’m not a fiction writer, but I can imagine what its like); I was writing about actual events in my life and being autobiographical, it had to be accurate – or as accurate as possible.
My last book (published two years ago) was hard enough but I had the advantage of a multiple of old notes and memory’s to assist me. I had written most things down, so all it needed really was to put old notes and past memories together (some of them admittedly painful ones); and I had a basic ‘diary’ to work from. Not so with the current one. All I had was a head-full of memories, which meant names, times and dates all had to be put in sequence – from scratch! I had to record things from the year 1974 (where the first one ‘finished’) until the early 1990s – a long gap really, when a lot had happened!
I wrote a lot of its at night, when the world was quiet and there were no distractions. No traffic noises; no harsh daylight; no phones ringing (at least not normally!); just comparative silence to work through! Of course, this inevitably affected my sleep process’s, and it would not be unusual for me not to get any sleep whatsoever until it began to get light.. And then, of course, it was not that simple, because I still had things to do that could only be done in ‘working hours’. The Post Office closed at 5.30 pm for example (and the banks and most shops not long before that) and so to communicate with the outside world, I had to make sure that any sleep did not go on much longer than lunchtimes. It soon turned into a regular habit – I never saw mornings – and before long normal sleep had vanished altogether. Leaving me so little time in the process.
But its finished now. But here I am sitting up at 6. 15 in the morning again as a consequence of an induced habit. Luckily. I have never had any sense of time, as others do. So I think that helped. I have never ‘watched clocks’, even when having nothing to do. I have never eaten at set times – only when I’m hungry. And I have never cared about the normal human conventions that seem to entrap so many people. Don’t get me wrong; I am not condemning normal routines or behaviour. That is part of the normal system, and most people couldn’t survive without that. So I am not ‘knocking’ anyone; just trying to point out that my ‘time sense’ is certainly different from that of most people.
But the writing is still not finished – by a long way. But I feel I have earned a little break, so can just can just relax in the hectic turmoil instead! In reality, most of it passes me by anyway. I have little awareness of the petty thoughts and set routines that otherwise make up ‘normal reality’. Admittedly I have to live in the midst of all these; but I am certainly not ‘trapped’ by them – that’s the main difference. This is not some ‘acquired sense of freedom’; so some reason, it has always come naturally. Of course, some ‘outward events’ have served to ‘entrap me’. But only very few judging by the way these can entrap most people.
Some outward events can sometimes seem beyond your control though. And yet I wonder if even these are somehow ‘fated’, or sent to provide some unrecognised guidance. So I just go with the ‘flow’ of life normally. Trapped materially by some things, but inwardly basically free.
It can be hard sometimes, almost seem cruel. Events of 1965 have taught me that. But even then these are not ‘dead’. There can be no physical death in the presence of a greater Reality.