W4W : Why my inspiration monkey has lost his thinking cap

Banker and a small boy

Image: Pixabay


I confess we’re all thrown out of kilter here at Shamble Towers.

My Inspiration Monkey, Cyril, has lost his thinking cap. The twins Prevarication and Procrastination are camped out in the living room and are currently building a fort from my old note books and all those half-finished ‘great’ ideas that never got any further than a midnight scribble and an hour’s excitement before the leaden gloom of disillusionment set in.

And the word Schedule seems to have vanished from my lexicon completely. I suspect it’s packed its bags and is at this very moment boarding a plane to Acapulco where it will assume a new identity – possibly under the name of Jorge or Arturo – and begin a new life serving drinks at a pool bar wearing nothing but cut off denim shorts and a winning smile.

In other words, over the last few days my creativity has sprouted wings, flown out of the window and straight into a passing lorry load of frozen chickens.

You see, I’ve built up a routine of lovely writing prompts beginning Monday and continuing through to Friday or Saturday, depending on how inspired I’m feeling. However, I’ve missed two of these prompt already this week and do you want to know why?

Well, it’s partly because I’ve recently had two rejections from literary agents. Both terrifically polite, encouraging me to submit elsewhere, but basically saying thanks but no thanks. Of course, being the ‘creative’ I am, my subconscious interprets these encouraging missives as

Lord No! What were you thinking, sending this piece of over written, under developed derivative rubbish to us? Go and sit in a quiet corner until you’ve come up with something worthy of our attention.*

But to be honest, it’s mainly because this past Monday was a


here in England.

Now, for those of you unused to the term, a Bank Holiday is just another word for public holiday. Several of them fall on Mondays here, giving us all a nice long weekend in which to cover our gardens with decking, repaint every inch of our scruffy abodes and barbeque and water slide our way into a foaming frenzy – if the television adverts which surround these days are anything to go by.

They’re called Bank Holidays not because we have a particularly exalted opinion of banks and bankers and feel the poor things could do with some extra time off (we really, really don’t see bankers that way) but because they’re some of the few week days when the Bank of England and the high street banks close their doors, making it (before the days of the internet) impossible to trade.

Until the 1830s, the banks closed for the traditional 33 saints’ and holy days, but in 1871 the first Bank Holiday legislation was passed by politician (and funnily enough, banker) Sir John Lubbock. Apparently for a while after the law was passed, many people called them St Lubbock’s Days, which I think is rather lovely.

We’re now down to 8 public holidays (which include Christmas and New Year), which might not sound like much compared to our forebears, but they didn’t have statutory holiday entitlements, so we’re doing okay.

What these events lead to is the Monday feeling like a Sunday and the nation as a whole spending the rest of the week muttering to itself

Wednesday? Could have sworn it was Tuesday today. These Bank Holidays really throw you out, don’t they?

Bank Holidays – a blessing for bankers, a curse for bloggers.


*Yes, I did think this for one moment, then I scoured Google (with the over dramatic search term how many literary agents should I contact before I give up) and discovered that James Patterson’s The Thomas Berryman Number was rejected by 31 publishers before finding a home and 25 literary agents turned down Audrey Niffenegger and The Time Traveller’s Wife before she found success. I really am an amateur at this rejection game. More here.

Many thanks to the lovely Kat, founder of W4W.

20 thoughts on “W4W : Why my inspiration monkey has lost his thinking cap

  1. [Oops pressed Send, my bad]

    … hasn’t caught up just yet with what your loyal followers already know, that you’ve a talent for engaging the reader.

    And may flights of metaphors wing thee to thy success!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, Chris – thanks so much! I confess that reading the long lists of other – very successful – authors’ rejections is heartening. I’m at the beginning of what could be a very long road, so must toughen my carapace. And thanks for the kind words. It means a great deal 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I’ve sent you this before but hey ho… Just wanted to remind you that you are in good company. https://www.buzzfeed.com/stmartinspress/20-brilliant-authors-whose-work-was-initially-reje-7rut?utm_term=.cpPYpb78v#.efGb8n1Kl

    We didn’t have a BH here but we will this coming weekend… Yay!

    I find inspiration ebbs and flows. I’m struggling these days to come up with W4W myself! But I’m enjoying writing darker fiction and I’ve another one rattling around in my head. Once my shoulder heals I can type again… Cannot wait!

    ps you are a massively skilled and gifted writer! Trust me on this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, you very lovely person. I know, I’ve got to suck it up and get a grip. Though I think if I was rejected 121 times, I would accept defeat and give my life over to scrubbing cars or selling insurance!
      I’m so sorry, I didn’t realise you’d hurt your shoulder – how did I miss that? What on earth did you do? I hope it’s not serious. And I love your fiction – you have a great talent for ‘dark’ so keep it up.
      Thank you for the encouragement – you’re wonderful 🙂 XXX

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh thanks for saying that!
        I have rotator cuff tendinitis and had a cortisone injection directly into the shoulder joint the other day. I really shouldn’t be typing at all but hey, can’t help myself! Hopefully it’ll sort it’s self out soon.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ooh, nasty! When you have to have a cortisone injection, you know you’re in trouble. I do hope it’s better very soon. It must be so hard to do anything with one arm in a slung too. Poor thing. I wouldn’t be able to stop typing either – oh, the horror! Take care, chuck X

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope you find Cyril’s hat soon! And yes, sometimes vacation weeks can throw you off, and yes, rejections can REALLY throw you off. It’s all well and good to point out that rationally you shouldn’t be upset because all these famous fabulous writers were repeatedly rejected before their books finally got published, but since when did being rational make emotions go away? So I say, cry or pout or scream into your coffee as much as you like. Then get up and crank that baby out again — you can do it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joy! And you’re absolutely right. I know the likelihood of being picked up straight away is very slim but you can’t help hoping, can you? Yes – onward, onward, always onward. I love the process of writing anyway – just love it. What else would I do with myself if I didn’t have writing? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a list of other interests that are being blown off in order to write, so if I couldn’t write I could do those again. Maybe even (gasp) dating. Nah, my book isn’t done yet, no time for that. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And what a book it sounds too 🙂 I’m rather narrow minded – reading, writing, gardening – they’re my joys. And my family, of course 🙂 What other interests are you neglecting to visit Eneana?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Mostly cooking and having dinner parties, trying new restaurants, salsa dancing, going to clubs to listen to live music, going to museums, playing guitar, playing Euro board games, and general socializing. There are several Meetup groups I would like to be more involved in but I’m focusing on writing groups for the time being. And reading, which I have been sadly neglecting lately. And yes, dating. It turns out you have to actually leave your home (and not just to the office and the grocery store) in order to meet men, who knew? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh, salsa – lovely! I salsa to an exercise DVD but am too chicken to do it with others 🙂 And I’ve set half my YA book round our local museum (where strange things happen, of course). Magical places. Glad to hear you like to meet men old style, if you know what I mean. A lot of people (including my brother) meet people through online dating. Supposedly very successful for many, but sounds odd to me.But then I am of that generation – old 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’m going salsa dancing tomorrow night, although I haven’t done it in so long, I worry that I’ve forgotten all the moves! I actually don’t have anything against online dating, and did it for a while after my divorce. It was fine, and actually pretty fun, but I realized I wasn’t ready to get serious about someone quite yet anyway. There really are some very nice men on online dating sites; you might be surprised. I might try it again, we’ll see. If I can find the extra time!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. All down to time and juggling it, isn’t it? You’ll get round to dating again when you’re ready. In the meantine, you’re having to decide the fates of all those characters of yours. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, Mr Walker. That means a great deal coming from yourself. I’m fine – just a momentary blip in confidence. I did learn about a writer who was rejected 121 times before getting published – not sure I’d be ok after that lot! Thank you so much for your encouraging words. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi there, Just discovering your amazing site. This post certainly echoes my feelings after rejection, but does so with aplomb! I love your humour and the metaphors you use, which, as Calmgrove says, should definitely wing you to success.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Nastasya. From an experienced writer like yourself, I take that as the highest praise 🙂 Glad you discovered my little corner of the net. Good luck with all your writing endeavours – hope to meet up with you on the Mslexia forum soon 🙂


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