A Writing Life: empty nest

The Art of Survival, the second of my crime series set in Scarborough, has just gone to the proof reader. I feel a little flat. I wonder if this is partly akin to an ’empty nest’ feeling parents might get when children leave home? I don’t know for I have never been a parent of a child, only a book.

I think it is also partly to do with the process. Getting the copyeditor’s comments back was exciting, and some of the work that had to be done was creative. Some of it wasn’t, like decreasing the indent on paragraphs because what looks fine on an A4 will look strange on a Kindle or in a paperback. I meant to do this from the start of writing, but forgot. And from here on in, I know from my previous experience, the fun, for me, wanes somewhat. The proof reading corrections, the formatting for the various versions (paperback printed locally; createspace paperback; and Kindle), the marketing, I find most of it a bit of a graft.

Then, perhaps, I am depleted creatively. Bringing forth a novel is no small enterprise. I could just be tired. While The Art of Survival is away, I have turned my attention from novel writing in an effort to replenish. In a couple of weeks time I will be doing St Cuthbert’s Way (a 100km walk from Melrose to Lindisfarne) and I am exploring ideas around movement and creativity. Mslexia (https://mslexia.co.uk/) has commissioned me to contribute to their blog on this subject from October to December, so this has given me a focus, though I may want to develop something further after that.

Today I spread our dinning room table with books, notes and articles which I have already collected on this subject. I wrote with a pen, free writing, free-wheeling-words, no plan, no direction. Being away from the computer and the space offered by the table, appeared to give me permission to wander.

I was reading some Edward Thomas, a poet who walked. I love this little snippet from ‘Over the Hills’

Was vain: no more could the restless brook
Ever turn back and climb the waterfall
To the lake that rests and stirs not in its nook,
As in the hollow of the collar-bone
Under the mountain’s head of rush and stone.

I’m interested in other writers who walked and also narratives/poems where walks are significant. Do you know of any? What connection do you feel between movement and your creativity?

4 thoughts on “A Writing Life: empty nest

  1. suzannebrazil

    Replenishing is vital. I was grabbed by the “empty nest” line and also your struggle after completing a novel. So many of us are struggling to get to that point, it’s heartening to know we’re not alone. The wonderful poet Mary Oliver writes on walking in nature and all things contemplative and thought I’d mention it in case you haven’t thought of her. Thanks for sharing your creative endeavors!


    1. Kate Evans Post author

      Thanks Suzanne. I am sure we all grapple and struggle as much as the next writer, as well as in our own unique ways. Thanks for thinking of Mary Oliver, I do have her on my list, but it’s always good to have the reminder/recommendation. Good luck to you too with all your writing.



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