Lockdown restrictions following the global pandemic finally reached the UK on 19th July this year. We’d had a few ‘false starts’ – where we thought restrictions would lift, but then they didn’t because the number of COVID cases was still too high. So, we all approached the 19th of July with a mixture of excitement and fear. Anticipation at seeing friends and family again, going to sporting events and the theatre, lots of things that had been off-limits for ages. But also worry that fewer restrictions would lead to a rise in cases. Nevertheless, the general mood over the approach of ‘Freedom Day’ (as it was dubbed in the press) was excitement.
I was much more ambivalent than some of my friends and colleagues as July 19th approached, and out on a walk with my dog Ted, I was pondering about why this should be the case. My freedom had been severely curtailed during the pandemic, along with everyone else. And then, of course, it hit me! As an author, I live mostly in my imagination, hanging around with the characters in my books. So, although, like everyone else, I was physically in lock-down, in my author’s world I was free as a bird!
It’s generally a wonderful thing to be stuck in author mode, inhabiting these new worlds that you’ve created, and hanging around with the gang that you’ve invented. But sometimes it can be a bit of a pain. When you’ve got a deadline, or your plot just won’t work out, and you have to re-live a scene over and over to get it just right …. That’s when you would welcome some politicians coming in and saying, ‘okay, you can move on with your life now ….’
As an author, the only way you can escape your self-imposed lockdown is to do the work and write the book!
Perhaps publication day should be re-named ‘Freedom Day’ for authors?