On writing, home truths and being thankful
I’m in the thick of it at the moment, writing wise. In the middle of a 50,000 word challenge for National Novel Writing Month and typically, I get a report back on the first three chapters of my novel. I wasn’t happy about the amount of work I still need to do on it and it got me down, if I’m honest, questioning whether I was ever going to get this right.
Thankfully, I can put that to one side and get on with what I really love the most and that is the writing part. No one is judging me, telling me this isn’t right, you have to do it that way etc. etc. I’m just writing, crafting a story and that’s what I love most of all. November is the month when I am reminded why I write. To hell with all the editing malarky, that can all wait. Getting a story down on paper is the special part. Whether any of them ever gets to see the light of day remains to be seen, but I’m not going to give it up any time soon.
My guest this week is Sara, who blogs at mumturnedmom, a blog I love for the beauty of the words that this lady crafts. Everything Sara writes is from the heart and it’s an inspiration to me and I’m sure anyone else who follows her. When I asked her if she would write a guest post, I was so thrilled when she agreed and she couldn’t have hit the mark more centrally with the piece she provided for me, especially with the way I’ve been feeling just lately. I hope you enjoy this and it resonates with you too. Be sure to check out her blog. It’s awesome…
My daughter started preschool in September. After months of build-up and anticipation, the day arrived!
As an aspiring writer, I had fantasised about these reclaimed hours in my day. Of the luxury of arriving home from the school run, making myself a steaming mug of good, strong tea and sitting down at my desk to write.
I poured over my list of writing ideas. The headlines and the half written posts. The well-formed ideas and the idle thoughts. I began to plan some larger projects; series ideas for the blog, compiling my growing collection of poems, perhaps even taking some of my short fiction and turning it into something longer.
I revelled in the time I had to spend on my blog; fixing things, tweaking things. I worked on my editorial calendar. I bought a new blog theme!
I wanted to do everything, all at once.
It was all too much, too fast, of course. I quickly became overwhelmed and found myself wasting the hours I had. It seemed that the more time I had, the less I got done.
The extra time became a source of stress instead of the answer to my prayers. Sitting at my desk became a chore instead of the creative idyll I had fantasised about.
Then I received some heart breaking news about a friend and everything stopped.
Suddenly, the hours I spent writing the blog, the amount of energy I wasted worrying about writing (or not writing), the time I wasn’t spending with my family; it all seemed terribly self-indulgent.
I found myself at a loss for words.
Life has a habit of stopping you in your tracks, whacking you in the face with the truth of it all, just when you need it.
Having time to spend doing the things you love should not be taken for granted, and it certainly shouldn’t be squandered worrying about how productive you’re being! It’s easy to become overwhelmed, but perspective is everything.
Time shouldn’t be wasted, and writing shouldn’t be forced.
The truth is I won’t always have the right words. Sometimes, there will be big and scary and sad things for which the words are hard to find.
Even simple words of comfort needed for a friend.
As we approach Thanksgiving, I am grateful for many things. My family, my health, my life.
And, I am thankful for the gift of words. Because, when found, the right ones will lift you, comfort you, inspire you and guide you. They will wrap you, and those they reach, in a protective embrace. They will make you cry, they will make you laugh, they will make you think; such is their power.
This is why I write; I am thankful to have been reminded of that.
Sara writes over at mumturnedmom. There you will find stories about her family’s adventures, days out, crafts and activities; alongside tales of their expat life, and the challenges and opportunities that it brings. Moving to the US gave her the freedom to write, which more often than not results in poetry. She is as surprised as anyone. You can find Sara over on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Instagram and Pinterest.