Who would have thought that World cup fever and writing a novel would go hand in hand? But for me that was indeed the case back in 2010. As I watched the opening ceremony for the 2014 world cup in Brazil last night I was reminded of how football and the ‘greatest show on earth’, along with my trusty laptop, not only saved my sanity but protected me from what would have been the most boring and depressing summer of my life.
Let me start at the beginning. End of May 2010 and I arrive in work, as normal, on a glorious sunny day. Within an hour I was in a heap on the floor. The room was spinning, I could not feel my legs and every nerve in my body was like pin and needles. I could barely see, let alone stand. It turned out I had a virus which was attacking my white blood count and had left my blood pressure through the floor and my B12 almost non-existent. The result was 14 weeks of complete rest on doctors’ orders. I was not to move off the couch/bed and under no circumstances was I to sit out in the sun. We were experiencing a heat wave. I was severely hacked off! I am no good at sitting still. There are some programmes on TV that I like, but I don’t do all day telly, and I certainly don’t do lying on a couch all day, particularly when the sun is shining outside. This is Ireland, sun is like gold dust, you soak it up when you get it! But my body told me otherwise. If I so much as raised my arms, my head would go off on that merry go round and I would lose all feeling in my legs.
So how the hell was I to pass the looming weeks that lay ahead of me like an ocean of sludge that had to be overcome? Enter my husband. He duly handed me my laptop and stated
“You know that novel you’re always going on about wanting to write………?”(deafening silence accompanied by meaningful stare).
And so it began. I started with a blank page with what seemed like forever and soon the words began to form in front of me. After a few days I was feeling like this may not be such a waste of a summer after all. I was starting to formalise the story and the characters in my head. But one day, amidst my creative fix, the tv was put on and my inspirational silence was shattered. The husband sits himself down.
“The world cups starting, sure we’ll watch a bit of it. I’d love to see Spain win”.
I looked at him horrified, did he seriously expect me to watch men running around a field after a ball for the next month? I mean I watch Rugby, but that’s different. That has Brian O’Driscoll and Rob Kearney to entertain the eye. But I was left with no choice it seemed, so I chose to treat it as background noise.
Fast forward a few days and my husband is in despair as he cannot watch the news.
“But the football is on” I cried. I have become a tv football wag. I am hooked.
“You’re supposed to be resting” he yells as I scream obscenities at the incompetent referee.
“It’s good for bringing up my blood pressure” I reply.
And so 2010 summer ended up looking a little like this: Wake up, breakfast, talk to kids, shower, watch football, eat lunch, watch more football, write novel all evening now that adrenaline was pumping from overdosing in football, eat supper, talk more to kids, sleep for 10 hours.
That was pretty much it for the 4 weeks of the football. When the world cup ended with the glorious win of Spain and my husbands’ moans of how he knew he should have put a tenner on them at the start of the tournament when they were 50/1, I thought I was going to die. I can only imagine I was going through a mild form of detox, but for me it was horrific.
Then, glory be, Wimbeldon started and I was saved!! My adrenaline was back and I was able to write again to exert all the energy.
So you see I owe a lot to football and in particular the World Cup. As I write this I am watching the opening Spain V Netherlands match in Brazil and my adrenaline is once again pumping as the Dutch are serving up a very cold dish of revenge. A 5-1 win over Spain, who denied them the world cup 4 years ago, and I am reminded once again of how thrilling this sport can be at this level and how much it gets my blood running. I just may have to exert some more energy on the laptop before bed.
So if you are wondering how to relieve writers block, try a bit of football viewing, or rugby or tennis also works. I find I have a fascinating case of sports tourrettes when watching the games/matches, but it doesn’t half get the mind going.
And if you’re wondering how the novel shaped up in the end, well I did finish it. It’s in re-edit mode, and I’m waiting on a publisher (any publisher will do!!) to take pity on me (hint hint) and take it on. You can read all about it on my profile, you’ll find me in the emerging writers section. You’ll also find links to my twitter @moyahodgers (I could do with some followers, it’s all new to me!) and links to my facebook (moya hearty hodgers) and my blog, justcallmemam.wordpress.com. Have a look, it would make my day!