Thursday, 26 March 2020

Blogging in the time of a national crisis - How do I get my Mojo back? This Week's ReadItTorial

When I was a kid, I hated the spring and summer. The sunny weather, and the fresh air were always the precursors to parental and grandparental nagging to "get outside, climb some trees, go get some Vitamin D into your skin" and it took a long time (well, adulthood really) before I began to crave being outdoors.

Under the current craziness, the near lockdown of the country and folk being urged to stay at home (obviously super-effective as a strategy because, from my window, I can see a couple of hairnetted old dears merrily having a chat outside my window, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they - in the highest risk group - could literally be talking their last) it feels like something's changed in terms of writing a book blog.

Now I'm working from home, the day job currently involves supporting a whole metric ton of other workers who are similarly working on creaky old computer equipment, trying to look like they're capably doing their work as efficiently as they would be if they were sitting in an office. That, of course, still relies on them having a strong work ethic, and buckling down to adapting to what is the new norm (don't you just hate that cheesy cliche and every time someone uses it? I know I do, I think I got tired of it a fortnight ago).

For book blogging, amazingly thanks to our awesome postal service and a lot of hard working PRs out there who are still kicking arse, the books are still arriving and I'm dutifully adding them to our review schedule.

The tough part is getting excited about them. I mean they're wonderful books, but it's so damned hard to focus and concentrate on something you love, when the world is filled with all the things you hate.

People's anger, people's selfishness, an inept government assuming that folk are going to be fine and dandy with staying in all day every day as the sun shines overhead, who won't mind being rounded up and told off by their local coppers if they're seen more than twice in one day. The way certain things just don't work any more, and the saddest of all, if you are crazy enough to venture out of your house - all those local shops and businesses you were once proud of being in a permanent state of lights off / no one home, with sad little printed posters up in their windows apologising to their customers in that typically English way we do when we're apologising for something that's not our fault - with eloquence and politeness edged with sarcasm and annoyance.

All these distractions, and also staying largely away from Twitter (because god, I really am sorry, but I don't need the constant moany grumpiness of the place laced with cheery folk playing ukuleles and singing John Lennon songs, on balance I can't decide which is worse).

As a family unit we are spending more time together (we don't live in a gigantic mansion, we kind of have to!) but the book stuff is suffering, and I don't honestly know what's going to happen over the next few weeks as I increasingly struggle to find time to write up our reviews.

We're still reading the books, still enjoying them but a troubled mind isn't one that lends itself well to focusing on nice things like kidlit. That's really pissing me off more than anything else at the moment.