I have been unfortunate enough to suffer 16 months of writer’s block.
This wasn’t an issue after graduating from university, when I would scrawl novel ideas inside book covers, blog weekly, and I even wrote a radio play set around a dead dog in a suitcase.
When I started full-time employment and then moved to Poplar, East London, on this very same day one year ago, however, I found myself struggling for words. I’m ashamed to say that the daily commute and city landscape got the better of me.
Fortuitously, I have recently felt ready to write again. But write what?
I was waiting impatiently for inspiration and, one day just a couple of weeks ago, it arrived in the form of 80 little penguins waddling excitedly through my imagination.
If you haven’t puzzled at the Underground posters or read about the series in your newspaper, Penguin Books have just published 80 Little Black Classics. At 80 pence a go, they celebrate the imprint’s 80 glorious years printing brilliant, varied and compelling fiction and non-fiction.
These 80 carefully chosen classics include poems, essays, novellas and short stories.
I’m rather excitingly, and rather overwhelmingly, going to work my way through all 80 classics and document the challenge in this fledgling blog. This will be no easy feat – I estimate it will take me two years.
More specifically, after reading each classic, which will be chosen at random, I plan to grab my beloved camera and head out into the world with Penguin as my companion, leading me to pastures new. Essentially I intend to celebrate each classic by reading it and then doing something inspired by it before blogging about my experience.
My friends and family would tell you that I am bit bookish and have been since I was a tiny, pushing my ladybird buggy filled with picture books around the house. I really fell in love with books through the classics (Dickens, Brontë, Hardy etc.) when I was a young teen, and naturally went on to study English literature at university. I’m now fortunate enough to be surrounded by books in my workplace and I even get to edit them! It really is rather marvellous.
For those of you who aren’t particularly bookish, rest assured I don’t intend to make this blog too literary or wordy. I will be keeping my feet well and truly on the ground.
This blog is just a little bit bookish. Really, I’m just writing about a personal pilgrimage and rather hope that you might join me, whether that’s once a week, once a fortnight or once a month.
So please bookmark me and drop in to say hello when you can. You can also keep up with me on Twitter and Instagram; see my contact page for more information.
I’m off now to get my 80 new roommates nested in their new home.