Sleep…or not…Eat….Write…or not.


Seem to have a complete block on at the moment.

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Highlighted further by attempting to churn something out on demand at the latest Writers meeting and finding I just cannot do that and remain true to my real writing. When some kind soul drifted over to tell me it was classic Mills & Boon territory I have since given up entirely. Thanks mate!

I also abandoned tonight’s meeting at my original writers club on the first hint of an excuse. So…what is going on? Writing abandoned, more reading has been taking place. Lots of job searching and lesson prepping and even some actual teaching.  Plenty of socialising. So I could be forgiven…? No. Didnt think so

The irony is when I am feeling ok -ish – as in not in Black Dog mode or beating myself up about past misdemeanors – of which there are many – and which we know is a pointless pastime – I DO tend to write LESS

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Its as if I seem to need some kind of injection of sadness or melancholy to douse the spirits and in turn get the creative juices flowing. Sitting at a table with 19 others and grabbing an unforseen topic with a 15min time limit to write just isnt cutting it for me lately. I guess we could call it a lack of Muse. I need my Muse to inspire me, to help me create. She has not been accompanying me to a draughty library of late. Or even at 4am stints of insomnia in which I previously churned out many thoughts but I now douse with banal TV Box Sets!

The abandoned novel lies inert beside the bed … edited and copy proofed beyond its limitless life. I prod it on occasion and finally drift off with a head full of plot revisions or additions but the next day it still lies, inert, unprodded. Guilt hangs above me like a cluttered cloud of calamitous thoughts…until I remind myself writing should be – always has been – my Pleasure. Not another duty. Or obligation. Or a switch to turn on or off at will. Especially in a draughty  library with 19 others also forcing the same forth.

Perhaps its just as well I am taking a break next month from all things written. Tomorrow night I indulge in the spoken word at a local cafe in which a few of us are booked to read out some work or poetry. But this is more organic. We choose our genre, we choose our time and no reluctance ensues. The Spoken Word can sometimes alleviate the need to write. It gives more chance to share the things you cherish or are proud of writing. The things you know are considered pieces. Not in a showing off look how damn good I am at this writing lark way. Not in a need to disguise flaws, all of us have those.

It is a chance to hear a part of one’s soul, a part of one’s person, to appraise, applaud, critique more constructively. Or simply to accept another wine and enjoy a plate of food with others while you share ideas, enjoy the ambience and the lilt of the spoken voice as in times of old folklore and thank this Life that there ARE more like minded people to share your idiosyncrasies with.

Oh, look. I have written some words on  the blank page.

Like Ted Hughes’ Thought Fox I stumbled and fell a little at first, gained momentum and finally left a few footprints.

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2.11a.m


Its 2am. Later

But what do I care – when did I ever care about Time, Constraints, Schedules, Must-be-there’s, Have-tos, – but I am thrilled its 2am – gone – and I am finally WRITING again.

Because I DID it you know?

I finished the NaNoWriMo with an almighty final push that nowhere near equals giving birth – sorry ladies – and actually finished around this same time on the final deadline date of 30th November. And then I slept at last….and slept…and slept.

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The following day I had booked into a Writers Retreat on the island and intended to start editing this pile of sludge I had manifested from my weary mind. No way. I cancelled that and all other plans the entire weekend, and slept.

I didn’t write a thing. I didnt even look at it. I couldn’t .

It was akin to some mad passionate fling you may have, all obsessive, all consuming and yet finally, spent and weary you realise you cannot continue in this mad unrelenting vein!

November has been a blur. Starting NaNo holed up at my friends where he kindly proffered much tea and snacks, if not much sympathy! – I then retreated to my island haven and spent the final 19 days of the month completely immersed in my plotting, my weaving, my tapestry.  I lived it, ate it, breathed it. Even the poor dog was tired of me hunched over my laptop day and night only pausing to finally walk her and myself, or to reluctantly throw some food together. It was sheer total indulgence but it worked! Some days I wrote nothing – but still mused and thought lots, planning in my mind as I walked over the fields and in the woods near the cottage. Each day I updated both Instagram and the NaNo planner online for word count and running total, sometimes checking in with other Southampton writers, even joining in the odd sprint prompted by the teams mentor or on NaNo Twitter feed. Those sprints kinda saved me!!

Everyday too my outer world slipped by unnoticed. Bills and post piled up as did dirty cups from continual caffiene fixes, but still I wrote on. I would break up the day as it headed into night – I think, who knew? – by lighting a real fire in the grate and using it as futher inspiration as I gazed deep into its flickering life, and traced the splintered sparks fizzling into the chimney with sporadic outbursts. Who knew how many hours passed by. Who cared.

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Years and years I had dreamt of  having this luxury. I had seen myself, invariably alone, in my rose adorned cottage by the sea. Writing.

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If you can manifest your total dream – your Heart’s Calling – into reality then I have done so. Oh, it was not at all simple. Yet it always felt inevitable, if not imminent.  It took years.

Years of study, travel, heartache, family, relationships, bringing up children mostly alone, studying again, teaching, travelling, constantly moving but always, always that one constant throughout it all. My Writing.

Cliched. My Love. My Passion.

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Yes I make a living at it too. I teach writing skills, I persuade others to love Literature with the same zealous abandonment I always have, I even entice some over to the joys of poetry. I help them prepare for and pass exams. Sit through endless group and 1:1 tutorials; I help novice teachers find their feet, gain their certs and head off into the wide blue yonder of modern teaching. I loiter on Skype, and Webex, and Zoom trawling through online lessons but always conscious of my main purpose behind it all.

MY Writing.

My dream, long held, lovingly nurtured, and often rescued from the depths, dusted off and resurrected to its original pedestal.  To be away at last, isolated, indulgent, wake up when I want, write for as long and as late – or early – as I want. No demanding kids – although I adore you all and do not regret a minute – no more demanding husband 🙂 urging me to turn out the light, to stop rustling papers, to put down the book. No noisy street below or bellowing neighbours each side. No school runs, no pick ups, no teacher meetings or report days, no football matches to attend, ballet to watch, knees to patch up, tears to dry, faces to scrub.

No nothing . A nothingness. Which sounds a little sad but that is Nostalgia. I have travelled his beguiling path before and where does it take me? straight back to the Present. The Here and Now. Where I am.

The time I always longed for while I was still ostensibly living my life has somehow finally arrived. The coast. The Cottage. The Roses. The Writer.

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Let’s see if I can do her justice somehow at last.

I owe it to her

I owe it to Myself.

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NApoWRImo! Jumping on the bandwagon day 10 – not that I procrastinate much.


Somehow I missed the build up – and the launch to this months National Poetry Writing month – time to join the hype!

I have read some wonderful poetry tonight and been inspired by all the past prompts but decided to start today with prompt 10.

It called to me and reminded me of a song my daddy used to sing long ago. And then my brother.

The idea of simultaneous events has always fascinated me and I often match past actions with a new friend or lover to see where we both may have been at the same time, say , 10 years ago and have often discovered we were in the same place or passing by yet never met till now. Or equally find that we could never have met as our lives were on very different parallels at that point. Veering toward the inevitablility – or chance? – coincidence? – of meeting one day.

Enough to-do! Its 330a.m in the Uk .

Here is my poem.

 

 

As I lay wakeful, twisting in my insomnia, my insomnambulistic unbliss,

You lay sleeping, curled, as ever, in your embryonic stance.

As this island lays peaceful, lapped by familiar waters, its coastlines quiet yet bathed in Spring moonlit rains

Your mainland is crashed, smashed, with the continual onslaught of doubt.

We are but two worlds in between, a non-collision of existences, never the twain shall meet.

 

Passing passengers in the jaded journey, eyelids flicker and glance away

Meeting Souls on deserted pavements, footsteps falter then run away

We head home with our bubbles, we see all yet encounter none

Are we aware this is our trouble, our loss, our lack of home.

 

As I fall weary, into sleepless dreams

You rise quickly, life ripped at the seams.

As this world keeps turning, this nation of extremes

A global manifestation, nothing ever as it seems.

 

Lives passing lives. Dreams outstripping Dreams. Fate tempting Fate.

 

What will be, will be.

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