Insert quotes about "amateurs wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get on and do it" (Stephen King, more or less).
There are things we do: Edit, clean the house, take notes for things we think of even though we can't work out how they'll go. Shout a lot on social media.
So far so not so unusual: I deliberately stepped away from writing for a brief period last year while home ownership stuff was becoming frantic and I just couldn't afford to spare the time, as an amateur writer, to write.
More to the point, however: The world just became too damn depressing. And I'm not alone in this: In my (mostly lurking) time on Twitter, I've seen more than the usual background venting of writers currently stuck not being writers, and it's usually the same cause: Fuck this shit.
Which is of course exactly the wrong response, because at a time when the politics of fear, division and selfishness has swung back into the ascendancy, now more than ever we need artists of all stripes to be defiant and show what humanity could be like if we tried.
Unfortunately, minds don't work to what's ideal, otherwise we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.
So, basically, as soon as I felt I had time to take a breath and start writing again...
With one exception: During a particularly bad day, I started writing something so outrageous and trashy I knew that as soon as I had finished venting my current mood, I would never speak of it again. It was inspired by something specific and a whole bunch of other stuff, and it made me laugh, and that would be an end of it.
Until I finished the story, which for some reason had a cliffhanger ending on it because my brain hates me.
And started on the sequel. And then started plotting (which I never, never do. I am a pantser. Apart from the fact I prefer kilts to pants, I am a classic pantser. I never plan anything, least of all my life). And then I started on, hang on, is this section 4? How did that happen?
And now it's up to 80,000 words and 13 parts and I'm desperately trying to work out how to end this bloody thing, and it is still so trashy there is no way in hell anyone is going to see it under my name. If I ever publish it anywhere, it'll be an exercise in self-publishing under the most untraceable pseudonym I can come up with.
But, it's kept my fingers moving, and kept me going, and kept me in a position where I can think about starting a proper, meaningful project.
There' s just one problem: I can't concentrate on anything else right now, because I keep trying to work out how the next bit goes.
Which means I have to finish it. Which means writing like mad to get it out of the way. Call it an exorcism.
So that's something, at least.