Sometimes It’s Okay Not to Write


We went to the tiny seaside fishing village with good intentions, not to fish, but to simply relax, enjoy some time away from daily life. It was our 46th wedding anniversary and in recent years we’ve enjoyed taking such a break on this occasion.

The view above was taken from the beach house balcony early on our first morning after arrival. Believe it or not, rather than inspire me, this view restricted my writing. I wanted to write, believe me. My intention had been to write about 1000 words while there. I thought the surroundings would be perfect.

It seems they were too perfect and I needed relaxation more than I needed writing. I spent most of the four days enjoying the view. Sure, I achieved some journal writing, but nothing more serious than that. In fact at the end of our first full day there I wrote:

My brain is like a hyperactive child after an overload of sugar. It is flitting all over the place, nothing productive. Maybe I need this quietness to enable my creative mind to have a rest, empty, then leave room for new ideas.

I eventually accepted that it was okay not to write. My brain fell into the peaceful rhythm of the sea and I chose to not disturb that rhythm as it became absorbed into my being.

Now I am home again, refreshed, and ready to start writing again.

Sometimes it’s okay not to write.

Painting My Writing With Colour


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Falling into familiar patterns is easy. They creep up on us without our noticing and we find the excitement in our writing slowly goes into hiding. That’s what it’s like for me anyway.

I’ve done more factual than creative writing over the past three years, but now I’m trying to kick start my creativity. I have a few go-to books I enjoy when this happens and I pulled out one this morning. I randomly opened at a chapter about including the detail of colour in writing.

This was exactly what I needed. I’m currently writing a piece about ‘That Woman’ for my memoir group. My writing was drab, even though I was describing a woman vibrant in both the colours she chose and in her personality. Just being reminded of colour enabled me to revitalise my writing, bring more life to it.

The woman’s grey hair became silver grey hair, so silver the light bounced off it like sparks. Her pink volkswagen car became a car so pink it shocked the drab neighbourhood around it.

Sometimes it is easy to fall into lazy habits, but they are not impossible to turn around. Today I’m looking forward to painting the piece I’m writing with colour.

Why Daily Writing Practice Matters to Me

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Ever since I read Natalie Goldberg’s ‘Writing Down the Bones’ I have been a prolific filler of journals or notebooks as I go about my daily writing practice.

Each month I start a new journal, filling the pages with thoughts, ideas, inspirational quotes, whatever takes my fancy. Sometimes the pages are filled exploring ideas for my current writing project, other times the pages are filled with absolute rubbish. But still I write.

It’s the writing that matters, the moving the hand across the page as Natalie Goldberg puts it. Just as a sports person trains for an event and warms up before both training and competing, I warm up for my writing day.

Without this warm-up I fear I’d be facing a blank screen or  blank page, the ideas refusing to flow. I try to not miss a day of writing practice in my journals, whether I intend writing that day or not. After all, a successful sports person doesn’t miss a day of training just because they have no event coming up. Smooch the Cat often looks on, wanting to be part of the action.

April is coming to an end, now is the time to venture out and buy a new journal for May.

Reminder to Myself – The Need for Consistency

I’ve been reading lots of sound blogging advice lately, information worth reading. Some of the advice was new to me and contained a few things I need to get my head around here in this blogging world. Other things I was familiar with, but had allowed to drift into the back of my awareness and needed to be reminded of. I am grateful for both kinds of information.

One thing I still need to establish  as I start out on this blogging life is consistency in my posting. Saying it has been a crazy year is just an excuse. My posts so far have appeared more as an element of surprise, dropping unexpectedly out of no where. For this reason I’m grateful for the followers who read regularly and to those who pop in here from time to time.

Next week I start a new job, with consistent hours, so I know what I’m doing when. This will provide me with more time and energy for writing, including blogging. I enjoy following blogs with a daily theme to their posts, so readers know what to expect when. I’m going to try and do the same, though this may be a habit that takes time to become consistent. My initial aim is to become more consistent in the regularity of my posts.

I’d love to read others thoughts on this need for consistency. I’m sure, if I can achieve it, this will be worth attempting. Please share  any tips you may on how you achieve this.

Writing is the Equivalent of an Apple a Day

This started being one of those days when staying in bed may have been the better option. The cat woke me at 6 a.m. with another of his hunting trophies. Of course he made so much vocal fuss I forced myself awake and blearily climbed out of bed to go and deal with both hunter and victim.

Most of the time my husband attends to these things, but he’s recovering from a knee replacement operation and so I’m the household problem solver at the moment. I lost my cool today. I yelled at the cat, told the whole neighbourhood I’m tired of being woken so early, then yelled at my husband telling me to stop ranting. Poor man, he feels bad enough about not being able to help, without my display of childish behaviour. After over filling the cat’s food bowl I crawled back to bed in shame. Not before banging my foot on the fridge door though.

Later, when my normal peaceful demeanour returned, I realised being fed up at times is okay. If I don’t feel sorry for myself no one else will. Not that I’m asking anyone to feel sorry for me. I enjoy a wonderful life.  Today started in less than perfect circumstances, but there’s nothing life threatening about that.

Perhaps it’s just as well I find it more difficult to indulge in a dose of self pity than I do to be happy. It takes work to be grumpy. Only one thing will help me pass through this tantrum, I decided. This situation definitely called for a bit of writing. There’s nothing to say I can’t write about today, instead of recalling the past as most of my writing does. A bit of pounding away at the keyboard never does any harm. An outpouring of the soul is great medicine.

We all need something to turn to when the going gets tough and writing does the trick for me. After a few hundred words the cloud above my head lifted and the falling rain on the roof sounded like music. I spoke to the cat in a calm voice and apologised to my husband.

Sometimes, when things go wrong, we need to vent our frustrations rather than pretending all is right with the world. Today began being one of those days. The tension is over now, all the pent up pity being released into the atmosphere. I’ve now returned to my normal, smiling self. Life continues.

Writing is the equivalent of an apple a day, don’t you think? Life is too short to stay angry.