When the words just won’t come

Writing

I have been wanting to write a post all week but something has got in the way. I have topics I want to write about. I’ve even had the time to write. But, for some strange reason, something is stopping me.

Even now, as I start to type, I am fighting the feeling that is trying to get me to stop. It’s hard.

I remember how easily the words came when I first began to blog. They flowed from me in pages and the only way I needed to push myself was by pressing publish. But now they stammer and stall.

I can still feel them there, hear them form. I long to set them free but something still seems to stop me. I’m so unsure.

So I force them out. Clumsy and ill-crafted they take their shape on the page until I find myself here. Far from happy with these words but here all the same. Here and hoping that this is not the end.

Dear Never

Writing

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Dearest Never,

I’m writing this to you from a time and place where you seem impossible. But a time and place where I think of you endlessly all the same.

I daydream about your existence and wonder when and where you are (or whether you will even read this). Because I just can’t help but utter your name.

You are all of the things I dare not see; my fears, my dreams. You embody them all. And yet I cannot face you. The mere prospect of you plunges me in to the depths of despair. You are too much for me. But I realise that facing you is inevitable none the less.

And I know that when I do it will break my heart. I know that I will not be able to hide the broken parts any more. That my fears and my dreams will finally join us there and transform themselves in to so, so many regrets. It kills me to think of it.

So, for now, I will continue to take your name in vain. To use it to negate all that I am and all that I will ever be.

As always.

X

How not to face the future

Writing

“We are back here again, aren’t we?”

I paused for as long as I could manage. I broke.

“I guess.” My voice cut the silence with a cool, steely edge. At least, I wanted it to.

“You just can’t believe that it might be true, can you?”

“No,” I replied, “Obviously I can’t.”

“Every time we get here, it becomes so clear you are in distress. You must see that that is real?”

“Is it?” I hoped sincerely that it was. “Or is it just an excuse? It sounds like an excuse.”

She stared straight at me. I wanted to get up walk away. I let my focus become blurred and tried my hardest to escape her gaze. I checked the clock. It was impossible.

“Ok, so, let’s assume I am. Let’s assume it isn’t my fault and I’m not to blame. It doesn’t change anything, does it?”

“Maybe it will.”

She sat there, silent and still, her eyes fixed on me. I wanted to run but, again, I stayed. Something always makes stay. Silent and still, I allowed myself a moment to try to imagine if things were different.

I couldn’t.

I had nowhere to go from here. I had nothing to say that hadn’t been said too many times before.

So I sat there distressed, silent and still, and waited.

The Writer

Writing

It’s the early hours of the morning and the house is near silent and very still. She sits dressed in an oversized jumper and a blanket in the dark. Her face is illuminated by the blue glow of her own words on the white screen. Her features are highlighted and her flaws are exposed.

The words have been pouring for a while now. She couldn’t stop them if she tried. Sometimes she wondered what would happen if she did. And then she remembers.

This time alone with them is when she loves them best but they never leave her. They follow her around out in to the rest of the world and she finds them forming and making their presence felt in spite of herself. She has learnt to listen.

As she takes in their shape on the screen, she questions where they came from. Are they even true?

Losing myself

Writing

Aspirations can be elusive. Something you should hold solid, clear and strong but something I was stuck searching for. Because there is always that contrived question lurking when and where you want it least;

what do you want to be?

Answering was easy. I knew what I should say. And what I shouldn’t. I may not have known what I wanted to be but I knew how I wanted to feel. And how I wanted you to feel about me. So I shaped my answer carefully and constructed myself in this refracted reflection.

Eventually my identity became defined: a soul shifting herself to become someone whole in all eyes but her own.

Then I found myself. Broken. Lost and alone and looking for a way back to who knows when.

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Words I want you to read…

Uncategorized, Writing

So it happened again. Just when I needed a little blogging motivation, I got some! Last week the very kind Inspiring Max took time to let me know that they are enjoying the words I write. And it felt good. Of course it did! So here I am to say a big thank you, to let you know a little more about me and, in turn, to share the words of those writers I love to read.

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Seven Facts About Me

1. I hate and love change in equal measures. I spend my days dreaming and playing out in my head a fictional future but dread doing anything new. I know I should live in the moment but I just wish I knew how.

2. I wear matching underwear. Always.

3. I binge on books. I can devour them in hours for day after day and then not read a word in weeks.

4. Blogging was much easier before I knew my mum was a reader. I don’t really share anything she doesn’t know already. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t mind if I did. However, as I write, I read it back through her eyes and, being a mum myself, know all too well that your child’s words can unintentionally harm. That aside, hi Mum!

5. Colouring in equals therapy. I should find time to do it more often.

6. I cannot spell. I couldn’t spell at school. In the days of handwritten essays I could spell a word incorrectly at the start of the page, correctly in the middle and get it wrong again by the end. In the days of google and predictive text I haven’t had to finish spelling a word in years. I teach English.

7. People probably like me more than I like myself. Or more than I deserve. I really am very lucky really.

My Nominations (or blogs I think you should take the time to check out because they really are quite wonderful!)

Earlier in the summer, I was first nominated for this by Tempest Rose at Nonsense & Shenanigans and her words really are awesome.

After that nomination I took some time to find some other writers I really enjoyed and, although not the full fifteen, these are fast becoming my new favourites…

heels not required offers warm words and super shots of her very wearable wardrobe.

I love This 20-Somethin’ Life especially this powerful post

The Bippity Boppity Beautiful Blog offers an eclectic mix of pretty things to make you think.

Just A Small Town Girl offers super strong words on a range of subjects as wide as you might wish to imagine.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and if you want to get involved find the guidelines (I love that, I can’t get along with ‘rules’) below…

Thank and link to the person who nominated you.

Display the guidelines and the award.

Share seven facts about yourself.

Nominate 15 other blogs and comment on their posts to let them know you have nominated them.

Proudly display the award on your blog and follow the person who nominated you (optional).

Words I carry with me…

Writing

I think my favourite poem of all time has to be William Blake’s ‘A Poison Tree’. I still remember reading it for the first time; sat in Ms Darby’s English lesson, next to my dear friend Jenny, finding refuge from real life in dusty words stacked upon the shelf by our desk. I wouldn’t have been able to explain it then, I was too busy telling you how the world should be, but those words spoke to a part of me that I didn’t want to speak to myself and, once I had read them, I simply couldn’t forget them.

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Subconsciously, I have tried to forget these words. I rarely read them. I have tried to replace them with oh so many others. But they always seem to seek me out.

I have always been an angry person. At least it think I have; I remember so little of my early childhood. Anyway, I struggle with my anger today. I feel this impossible heat rise up from somewhere in my stomach, maybe my soul, and fill every inch of me with an itch, a desire, a burning desire to speak to scream. The back of my throat contracts and I grit my teeth as I battle to silence myself. The tips of my fingers tingle and my muscles clench. My ears buzz. I feel powerful and weak and out of control. I cannot see reason.

Inevitably, the poison is too much for me. It spills out one way or another. A deafening, crashing wave or a slow, steady drip: is one better than the other? And there I hear Blake’s words; wrath, friend, foe, fears, grow, bright, mine, glad…

I am not proud of my anger. It makes me feel ashamed. I am more ashamed still that I still have an inability to control it. I blame it for the things it makes me say and do and all I have left, my only authentic word, is sorry. Repeated again and again and again…

Looking for a little inspiration?

Uncategorized, Writing

Inspiration often strikes in the strangest of places and, even stranger still, at times, whilst you are off desperately searching for it, you find yourself unknowingly, completely unintentionally, inspiring others too.

Well, at least, that appears to have been the case here.

The lovely Tempest Rose has all too kindly nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. When I began blogging a few months ago, I was inspired to do so by a dear friend (more of her later) but never even dreamed that others, strangers, would chose to read, let alone enjoy, my words. Over those few months, Tempest Rose has stopped being a stranger. When her face appears in my new notifications I smile because I know that she has chosen to come back again. And, with that in mind, I am so pleased to receive this nomination from her. However, this has also arrived at the very moment I needed it. As I come to the end of a holiday where I have neglected all my best blogging habits it provides a perfect opportunity for me to reconnect with my writing and take some time to re-read the words of those I admire. Thank you.

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So, here goes…

SEVEN FACTS ABOUT ME (although none that are likely to inspire!)

1) When asked to provide a fact about myself (interesting or otherwise), I freeze. I hate the pressure. What should I say? I appreciate the irony of this coming from someone who choses to blog about their life. I should probably discuss it again at length with my therapist.

2) I am a total book snob. If you recommend a book to me, you can guarantee I will not read it. This included my set text for A level English. I am strangely proud of this and ashamed by it in equal measures. I can’t see myself changing.

3) Three is my lucky number. I cannot tell you when or why this became the case, I cannot provide a single example of a time it has brought me good luck and I am not even superstitious but it has been this way for a while and I’m sticking with it.

4) (Sorry Andrew but…) I am my Nanny’s favourite.

5) I consider having neat handwriting to be one of my greatest achievements. When I learnt that my friend, Emma, felt the same way about hers I knew I had found a friend for life. However, please note, she asks me to write the label anything important for her.

6) I am absolutely, unbelievably, hideously vile if I do not get enough sleep. I consider enough sleep to be a full eight hours. To prevent or combat this I am prepared to go to any length including putting on my pyjamas and going to bed before 6pm whenever possible despite having learnt the hard way that you can’t bank sleep.

7) Once I start talking about myself, I find it hard to stop. Strangers know some of my deepest, darkest secrets.

And now, those who inspire me; MY NOMINEES…

Space 4 Mum The lovely Laurenne. The reason why I blog and a wonderful woman writing about the experience of motherhood from a refreshing perspective.

Long and Luxe Beautiful words from a stunning soul.

Love Happy Notes Positivity and pretty, poetic words.

Cogito Ergo Mum Simple straight talking that will make you smile.

Sober is the new black Watching his number rise daily is inspiration in itself!

THE RULES (which I am also being a little flexible with!)

1) Thank and link to the amazing person who nominated you (see above)
2) List the rules and display the award (done and done)
3) Share seven facts about yourself (yuk!)
4) Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated (quality over quantity I say… there are many more I love to read but these are the writers whose words I never miss)
5) Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you (I most certainly don’t expect this from my nominees because I am just happy to share their words)

How to make or break a habit in 30 days

Uncategorized, Writing

…or the alternative title: Things I know about blogging by a total novice.

Thirty days ago I bit the bullet and pressed publish on my first post and entered in to the wonderful world that is the blogosphere. At the start, I set myself the challenge of posting every day for a month and, well, here I am! So I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you what I have learnt in those first thirty days…

Everyone has their own reason for taking up blogging. Once you find your personal reason for writing the words will begin to flow. But for me it was also important to take up a challenge. Be it with yourself, your friend or by taking part in a WordPress challenge such as the recent Writing 101. A reason to stick with it when you feel like a failure, can’t be bothered, or simply find yourself face to face with that old adversary writer’s block. Because you will.

However, the greatest motivation is when you realise you have readers. When your stats reveal that there is someone on the other side of the world checking out those words that you, yes you, wrote. Or that day when you are notified that your ‘stats are booming!’ Those are the days that you begin to believe you are a writer. Nothing beats it.

But the next post will always fall flat. It won’t, but it will feel that way. You will spend the day wondering where your readers are, why thy have deserted you and what you have done wrong. The answer will be nothing. Some posts are simply better than others. Or more popular.

So, when you have written something you are pleased with, publicise it. Share with friends on Facebook, tweet a link or just text someone you would love to read it to let them know where to find it. Because the bottom line is that people probably won’t just come looking for you. And if you want to boost those view, an accompanying image of a cute kid usually works wonders!

And if you do have someone you want to read your writing, someone you want to know your thoughts or hear your ideas, then write with your reader in mind. Your voice will begin to speak out and you will start to find your own style. This is a great feeling too but, be warned, the temptation is to trap yourself there. To fall back on tried and tested techniques telling yourself that they did the trick last time around (excessive alliteration for example!). Be brave. Try something new. Have a go at fiction writing, poetry or free flowing streams of consciousness. What’s the worst that could happen?

Because bloggers are wonderful people. They will take time to read your work, like, comment and even share. So make sure you do the same. After all, you can’t be a good writer without reading. Other writers will become your inspiration and testing out your thoughts on a new topic or idea by commenting on someone else’s words is a great starting point.

But a great blog is more than just the words you write. One of the first pieces of advice I read about producing a successful blog was to write a good About Me page. Thirty days later and I still have nothing. It’s hard! And if, like me, you post via the WordPress app, take time to check out how your blog looks on a desktop. I did this for the first time today and realised my page was far from perfect! I can only recommend that you don’t attempt to edit it in fifteen minutes on your iPhone in a car park with very restricted 3G connection…apologies if you are viewing this in a very strange way!

I hope to iron out these and the many other flaws in, what has fast become, my own personal place to grow. But for now I will just accept that my blog is simply a work in progress…

Thank you for reading.

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A photo from my favourite place to write!