I tried to write a blogpost last week, but I managed not to. On the one hand, it felt like the hottest week ever in England and my brain and body were struggling to manage anything more than A) sitting in front of a fan with a Calippo or B) taking a nap. On the other hand, it was also the anniversary of my husband’s death and so I tend to go to ground a bit anyway.
Beyond that, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I am currently on a professional sabbatical, with a few bits of freelance work here and there, because I want to write a book. I’m not lying when I say that, but I’ve realised that what I really meant each time I said that to people over the last six months is ‘I want to write a book eventually‘. For six months I have enjoyed being able to do what I want, when I want and, as an introvert, that really means leading a small and quiet life for a while. My creativity has been flickering on and off like a strand of dodgily-wired fairy lights and there has not been very much concerted effort or joined up activity on the writing front from me for a while. Lately I have been feeling a bit anxious about this. I have been feeling like maybe I am a fraud and there are no words, there is no writing in me.
Things are starting to change, though. As much as I’ve loved reading books, watching films, box sets, YouTube make-up tutorials, internet dabbling, time with family, cinema-going, home decor-dabbling and the like, I have started to feel quite tetchy with myself. This is a classic sign that I am ready to move onto the ‘next phase’ of something. It was a conversation with my brother that helped me see this as we talked about hiding in what makes you feel happy and how that can ultimately become a hindrance. The fear of going in a new direction is often what stops you from going for it, or what allows you to self-sabotage by not committing enough to your new goals. So I have been looking at my plan of action and made some promises to myself that will put me back on the writing track and let me feel happier with my own head. The main one is to not worry about perfection, I just need to write. I need to do it everyday and not edit my words out of existence before they’ve even hit the page. Even if they are complete bilge, they are my words and they are what make me a writer. If I don’t write anything how can I ever write something?
There are a few other plans I have, like fresh scoops of ice cream in my head. I am going to act on them before they melt. There will be updates when I’ve done that but, for now, they remain my secret sundae.
In the meantime, here are some of the small joys of my simple life at the moment:
I read Exquisite by Sarah Stovell and found it dark and delicious and frighteningly adept at weaving borderline insanity into the tapestry of a ‘respectable’ life.
I have developed an obsession with listening to a few chapters of a Nora Roberts Audiobook in bed each night. Here I am dawdling about writing a first novel and Ms Roberts has written more than 215! They are comfortably formulaic, and I mean no disrespect by that. I have enjoyed several of her romantic thrillers but she also writes Sci-fi romance/police procedurals (less my thing) and family saga romances. It’s also amazing how much the narrator can really make or break each novel as an audiobook.
I went to see My Cousin Rachel last week and, despite the muggy cinema and the impinging sounds of an action film in the next screen, I really enjoyed it. It has received a mixed bag of reviews but I thought Rachel Weisz was excellent and it is beautifully shot. A daytime cinema visit really is one of my favourite solo activities.
I got some new leopard-print, platform Birkenstocks. Enough said.
Finally, no link but Morrisons’ Portuguese custard tarts are so good I could eat at least three at once (but I haven’t. Yet). Custard tarts always bring joy.