Breaking down walls word by word

Since I moved to this house over eight years ago there’s been a false wall intriguing me. Why is it there, what’s behind it, will I take it down etc. Dithering questions and hopping from one foot to the other. It’s not a supporting wall, in actual fact its not even a complete wall. Rather it is half a sheet of plaster board over the fireplace that sounds hollow every time someone taps on it. This is how I know it’s false and that behind it is an empty space.

So what has this to do with writing I hear you quibble.  Well the wall itself doesn’t feature in any of my written work. But the dithering is another story altogether. At this stage I may as well have a PhD in the art of indecision; after all I’ve given a lifetime of practice to it. This was brought home to me when, over lunch last week, I mentioned an idea for a new story to a writer friend. She listened patiently and when I’d finished my long ramble said, but you mentioned this before. And then I remembered- it was one of the plots I was to develop during my sojourn in Sierra Leone back in the spring when that country was Ebola free.

And, of course, while I was there distracted with basking in the sun and taking six hour poda poda journeys up country that particular plot idea was never developed. Recently my brother-in-law took a claw hammer and pulled down the false wall with couple of well aimed blows. Behind it was an edifice of bricks and mortar surrounding a mirror. Definitely not to my taste. Nothing for it but to dismantle it concrete block by concrete block. Which myself and my sister did over the course of a morning using a four pound lump hammer and sheer determination. A great relief.

The wall blocking a rewrite of the novel set in Sierra Leone is also a false wall that echoes each time anyone asks me how it’s going. There is nothing for it but to sit at the keyboard and word by word tap out the hunks of description and chunks of clunky dialogue that are not working. Yesterday morning dithering from foot to foot stopped and I finally began rewriting. Another great relief.

Now with sheer determination will keep on plodding on. Brick by brick word by word. As with taking down the plaster board wall the only way is To Do It.

Happy writing.


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