I’m sick of sitting round here trying to write this book*

It’s a quote from Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen but not being a great geek when it comes to lyrics I’d never heard the line in the song, despite having blasted it out numerous times over the years. But yesterday I heard it and I thought, Yes, Bruce, that’s why I love you, I know that feeling well.

I’ve been researching. Here are some of the books I’ve been reading …

Oxford books

Lots of them, aren’t there?

Here are my notebooks and here is my favourite slightly bonkers cup.

notebooks and cup

Sometimes, however, it can take a while for research to filter through into the writing. It can sit there like a very solid lump refusing all attempts at merger. It’s a back turned, folded arm thing and however much I suggest the two meet, preferably in my sub-conscious at night. Nothing.  There are of course other things that can be done. Things like buying sparkly notebooks and listening to Bruce Springsteen. This notebook is a particular favourite because you can stroke it and create patterns with the sequins. It’s strangely soothing.

sparkly notebook

I’ve been reading Bruce’s autobiography and there’s a great bit where he talks about writing Dancing in the Dark. It came late to the album, Born in the USA. Jon Landau manager and music producer tells him he needs a song in the album which ‘throws gasoline on the fire’ so he wrote the song that evening about ‘his own alienation, fatigue, and desire to get out from inside the studio, my room, my record, my head and just live.’  It was the song which took him furthest into the pop mainstream. I’ve seen him twice in concert, once in Wembley in the eighties and then a few years ago in Hyde Park. They were both extraordinary. Time for me to dance in the dark, I think. Here he is in that video…

*Dancing in the Dark, Born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen.

6 thoughts on “I’m sick of sitting round here trying to write this book*

    • Thank you Madame Bibi. The sparkly notebook is from Paperchase and very therapeutic! There’s some adage isn’t there about us only hearing things when we’re ready to hear them and I think that was the case with that lyric. Bruce is a bit of a mumbler … interesting he had that line in there though. I also have a talk to prepare for a forthcoming festival which is derailing my concentration somewhat. Things will probably improve after that!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a lovely post! And thanks for the dance …
    I think it is of vital importance to have gorgeous books to write it. I have just bought myself one covered in paint-like splodges and I have started writing with a bright yellow fountain pen. I consider it honouring of my thoughts.
    I loooove doing research. It is quite my favourite thing. Never happier than when in a library wondering what golden nugget I am going to uncover next.
    Judging by your collected research materials this is going to be some book! Can’t wait.

    PS: My husband is obsessed with Springsteen’s autobiography.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Francesca! The autobiography is really interesting because he wrote it himself which I think is a bit of a rarity with this kind of thing and he’s very open about his challenges with mental illness and the familial legacy of that. He’s also impressively focused from a very young age on what he wants to do and wow did he succeed in doing it well!

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  2. I find that dancing (in the dark AND in the light) helps when I’m feeling tired and “SICK OF SITTING HERE TRYING TO WRITE THIS BOOK!” That got my attention immediately, Victoria. I’m with you on trying to blend in research with the fiction. My pages and books of research are on drug deaths, opioid addiction, and drug use among teenagers. Not happy stuff. I’m just going to have to dance some more…! Good luck to you – I’m always looking forward to reading another Victoria Blake novel.

    Liked by 1 person

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