I’ve been given a house in South West France to write my autobiography and I’ve cut a month out of my life to be here. It is breath stealing beautiful. It may help you calculate the value of writing to know it costs thousands to take time away to write. But that’s a drop in the ocean compared to the cost gifted to me of where I am staying. Yesterday Author and Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam asked via one of my many facebook updates “How’s your writing going lemn??!” I tensed when I read it and drew my sword. Sword is the “S” word. I am writing this blog at 3am because I’ve not been able to sleep. Dave knows I am here to write. But I’m also here to deal with some stuff that has been holding me back. I need the peace and the isolation.
I arrived July 22nd in La Romieu. (picture above) I don’t speak the language, I’m alone. Each day I send my morning tweets then I run and shower, I facebook, I go to the café, the Boulangerie . and I write an average count of 1000 words every two days. And I kill myself too. It’s a slow debilitating deliberate, self esteem sapping death.
I’ve been chained to cigarettes 30 odd years. They kidnapped me and stole my courage. They’ve wounded me . They’ve lessened me. They’ve reduced me. I live on half my power and less than half my potential. So here in this 13th century House just 12 days ago I stopped. I haven’t turned into Jack Nicholson in The Shining. It was easy.
Think now of the photograph on facebook where you sent the question. The man who took that photograph is retired. He lives in the square by café Angeline in La Romieu. You can see it by the car parked in the first picture . Not so long ago he was a dying man. He had a heart bypass. This gave him more years to live. He no longer smokes.
Already I feel myself returned and oxygenated. I can breath. I can smell. The finest gift I could give to my life story is life itself.
So I guess there is an answer to your question “How’s your writing going Lemn??!” and I guess the answer is my writing is going well brother and thanks for asking.