by Jon Biddle

I feel the draw of work; I know I will have to go back to my day job, back into that clinical setting each day rather than my comfortable writing room. I’m having to think ahead. How will I fit this back into my day? How will I go back while continuing to focus on my writing, it seems now more than ever that I feel the need to focus on my book? I can’t bash out chapters when I’m in the operating theatre, there’s no asking to step out while I get down a sudden flash of inspiration. Also, I’d have to scrub up again. It doesn’t really seem worth it.

I’m believing that I’m not always in control of what I’m writing. Occasionally I find the story creeping away from me. Where does it end? There is so much I want to get down, so many paths to explore, that I find the narrative goes off on a tangent and slowly creeps away from me. It’s like riding a horse, we all know the horse is doing all the work, it’s going from A-B, over the jumps and around the track. But without the rider, all of that power and ability has no direction, it’s like when the rider falls off but the horse keeps running, it doesn’t know it can’t win. It just knows to run. The actual skill in being an author is the same as being a jockey, it’s about reigning the narrative in so it stays within the confines of your plot. Otherwise you are just writing and writing without realising how far you’ve gone, convincing yourself that the next line will be even better than before. It’s that false sense of security in a story that makes me think about the world right now.

It is becoming difficult to not comment on the political shit storm happening in the USA. I get flashbacks to being sat in a doctor’s waiting room and someone’s baby needs changing, but neither of the parents want to acknowledge it because they don’t want to be the one to do it. But the smell is becoming so overwhelming its becoming harder and harder not to say anything, so we all sit there choking on the stench giving each other awkward glances as we try to stop our eyes streaming. There seems to be a group of people who have lost their olfactory sensors are cheering the baby on, relishing in the discomfort of everyone else.

How did we come to this? The media likes to use the word ‘Divisive’ to describe people that are generally disliked. I know what that means, but I fear it can easily be mixed up with ‘decisive’, and that means something very different when it comes to the political sphere. Lots of leaders in history have been decisive, for better or for worse. It is a quality that is needed in a job where your decisions affects the lives of millions of people and where acting quickly makes a huge difference. Just look at the stats about the lockdown and how locking down just weeks earlier would have saved many more lives here in the UK. Divisive on the other hand, is ok for a colleague at work, or maybe a yeast spread. But the role of President or Prime Minister is to unify a nation, to be the figurehead for a group of people working towards a greater good rather than the mascot of the far right and the symbol of all that is wrong to the far left.

I watched both of Donald Trump’s 4th of July speeches, it felt as if I was standing at the side of the road watching in slow motion as two cars came together in a head on collision. The only problem is, if that were true he’d have gotten out and somehow tried to blame some minority for the whole thing happening in the first place. As I watched this car crash I found myself speechless, trying to understand the false claims he was making as he championed Confederate views and denounced Black Lives Matter.

On the other side of the coin, the Independence Day speech made by Joe Biden was calm, measured and spoke of inclusion. It seemed more appropriate for the occasion as he spoke about all parties working together to achieve greatness for the United States as a whole. After all wasn’t that what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they fought for Independence of American? The right to breakaway from the rhetoric of hate and division of the current ruling party, at the time the English Monarchy. Just from comparing these speeches, if I was a Republican I think I would nail my fealty to Biden. There seems to be nothing but fear mongering coming from the other side, and although I don’t proclaim to be the most well read political observer. I do know you cannot be a far left-facist, fascism is a right-wing ideology. It simply cannot exist on the left of the political spectrum, there is a line in the sand and it just cannot cross. Proclaiming that the BLM movement are facist when Trump champions a confederacy that lost the win turns the tap on the true facist and racist that always live among us. I say us, because that life line of oxygen is fuelling the same ideology here.

Anyway, let’s get away from politics, it serves no purpose right now except as an outlet of hate or a glimmer of hope.

 The one thing I want to do right now is get in the car and drive somewhere, anywhere as long as Sam and Bella are with me. Stay in a remote hideaway and sit the rest of the week out with some long walks, great food and even better company. I see many people tentatively going out on their holidays, and even more unashamed queuing on the motorways into Cornwall. I understand their temptation, but it makes me nervous. I think we are living with a false sense of security, we aren’t out of the woods yet, not without a vaccine would that uneasy feeling begin to leave me when I plan days out and holidays afar. My advice is tread carefully, though it may seem over that is because most of us do not get to see the reality of what we are dealing with.

The ‘I HATE This Book’ Podcast is growing from strength to strength. Every time I check our listening numbers I am amazed, though not surprised, how each day more and more people are tuning in. Episode 9 has just dropped and it’s another chapter that has Sam feeling on edge. I am starting to think that secretly she may not hate the book at all….

After leaving my old publisher I am now published on Publish Drive, this is a sales aggregating company that pushes the book across many platforms. Which has meant not only an uptick in readers, but also means you can now find my book on most platforms. So if you were unable to get hold of any of my books before now you can!

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