Isolate Me

At the end of last year I landed a major book deal, but one with a very tight deadline. To get it done, I decided to head out of London, with its many distractions. I rolled up in the middle of a forest in the Leicestershire countryside. That’s where I was when the lockdown came into force.

There are lots of advantages. Hawks, bats, foxes, owls, silence, trees, babbling brooks, clear skies and starlit nights. Wilderness to go for my daily 7km run. So I’m not complaining, let’s get that straight. I’m very fortunate.

But I miss London, and New York, and LA. I like cities and all they have to offer. Right now, though, those cities are no longer what they were. So if you have to be isolated, where better than here.

Except one thing.

My working life hasn’t changed. I’m still hammering the keyboard for hours on end at the word-mines to meet the deadline. Only all my friends and family have decided this lockdown lark is an extended holiday and surely I’m lying on the sofa swilling vodka from the bottle and watching Ozark.

So they call me up. Morning. Afternoon. Sometimes morning and afternoon when they’ve forgotten something. And when I mention, actually, you know, I’m doing a bit of work here, they laugh.

I could turn off the phone, but then what if it’s an emergency and they need me?

I figure the only answer is to turn everything upside down. Work all night and spend all day lying on the sofa swilling vodka from the bottle and watching Ozark.

At least till all my friends on the West Coast realise what I’ve done. Isolation? Pfft.

Writing In The Time of Plague

Back to the writing mill after four days off over Easter. On my virtual desk, I have two novels to complete, and two TV projects.

Work hasn’t changed much here during the lockdown. It’s still me in front of a screen, roaming around the inside of my head.

But work isn’t just the productive part. My well of inspiration was always fed by getting out into the world, to the pubs and bars, to cafes and restaurants, lounging on the common, seeing life, seeing stories unfold around me.

That’s all changed.

Social media has really come into its own in the last few weeks. It’s no substitute, but I’ve found it a lifeline for keeping up with friends and work colleagues. Isolation isn’t good for the soul. We’ll always find ways to connect.

(You can find me on Insta and Twitter, both @Chadbourn.)