Journal

Craving dirt and grime

Do you ever get the feeling you don’t belong in 2018? I am sitting here, a steaming cup of tea beside me as I ponder the delightful harshness of living in a chilly 18th century town house, reading Edgar Allan-Poe by candlelight. Sure, the image is romantic but of course, stilted. In truth, I’d rather be in my warm little cottage with the heating on full, tucked in my dressing gown. It doesn’t stop those images flooding my mind though…

The writer inside me craves the dirt and grime and utter ruthlessness of those times, but here I am, writing a blog entry on a laptop, wirelessly connected to the internet. It is my first blog and I am snowed in by Storm Emma.

Having written for two days and spent another day doing far more grown-up work for my job as a teacher, I’ve found myself wandering around my website in confusion. Ultimately, my dream is to write. I know I can do it. Hell, I’m doing it right now. This is the conundrum though. I use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube… but I have a limited amount of hours per week to write and that leaves me with few hours to do all of that. Sure, it’s easy and it’s part of being a writer in these times and part of me enjoys it, but each time I gain followers I can feel the rush of endorphins and each time I loose followers, I can feel myself swaying with dizzy frustration. It’s that reason alone, that I thought I would start a blog. Perhaps nobody will read it and perhaps some will try and then disregard it after reading a few lines (the fear of every writer) but here, I will try my best to write the truth. At least then, the pressure is off.

I will try my best to write what comes into my mind and I will try to tell it as best as I can, like any writer does. Perhaps, then, you might get to know me a little, like one would have done in a time where you could only see me by candlelight: in lightness and shadow at the same time.

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Photo is of my current writing space.

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Time, Writing & Obnoxious Parrots

  1. Finding time to write can be tricky.
  2. Finding the motivation to write can be hard.
  3. Drinking enough tea to ensure one is conscious enough in order to write can be taxing.

ULTIMATELY, finding time to write can be like dodging flying arrows, hiding from messenger pigeons and crawling through mud all at the same time.

BUT, it’s worth it.

Each and every evening, at around eight o’clock (my official writing time) I find myself staring at the clock, scrolling through social media apps and finding any excuse not to do writing EVEN THOUGH I KNOW I’ll enjoy every moment of the process once I get started. I have no idea why I do this EVERY night, but I do and it’s almost become part of my ritual of getting my bum in the chair!  …and I do, eventually, get my bum tucked neatly under that laptop.

I do EVENTUALLY start reading a few paragraphs or chapters and I do EVENTUALLY start typing one letter after another to form words, but sometimes I wish I had an extremely loud, obnoxious parrot who would kick start me into doing it a lot quicker than I do!

This is who I have instead.

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Create People – Not characters

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.” 

-Ernest Hemingway

I’m sitting in my writing space, with bookcases to my left, a lamp to my right and characters’ mutterings in my head. Only, I’m trying hard to create people and not characters…

It’s hard, especially when it comes to dialogue and I find it interesting that i’ve only just realised how hard dialogue is. Before, I thought it was one of the easiest things to write, but when I really started to think about it, it became of the trickiest parts. However, the constant switching between two sets of intentions is confusing and thrilling in equal measure. Well actually, a little more thrilling!

I’m sitting here with a glass of Baileys on ice and a log burner crackling away in the corner and all I’m thinking is ‘How do I make her real?’ I’ve remodelled her in every way in the last few weeks. I thought perhaps she was too confident for a female who had grown up in the 1800s, but no. I know she needs to be confident and kick-ass. She needs to be a strong female and she needs to be a match of another character. She just isn’t quite there yet….

So I guess I’ll keep remodelling her until I find whatever gem is hidden in the soul I’ve plucked out of thin air for her. She’s in there somewhere. After all, she’s a person; not a character.

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