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.