Sometimes It’s Okay Not to Write

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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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Image courtesy of  https://pixabay.com/

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.