I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front lately. The funny thing about writing is that I love doing it. It’s not a hardship. Some writers find it a painful process, and equate it to traumatic, medicated childbirth. I don’t struggle to put the word on the page. I never have. It’s interesting, too, that I believe birth was designed to be gentle, ecstatic and joyous ~ much like writing.
My blog tends to get neglected because I’m too busy writing elsewhere. I’m going to put up post-it notes in my writing room: “tend to your blog, Veronika, like you do your house plants!” I’m feeling so inspired as we take our first steps into this Cumbrian Spring. My garden is filled with blossoms: pear, peach, plum, cherry, and soon there’ll be apple blossoms, too. I’m never happier than when my hands are in the dark, fertile soil, and the sunshine falls across my skin.
Although the vast majority of my writing is done directly on the laptop, and often before sunrise, I do love to take a pen and notebook into the garden and write there. With my bare feet nestled amongst the lawn daisies, against the soundtrack of beautiful birdsong, my muse comes alive and my heart sings. The beauty of writing, for me, is that it can be done anywhere, just about any time. I have often written while waiting for my daughters outside their music lessons, or in the gym café after a workout. Sometimes I’ve woken in the night and scribbled a few lines down in the dark.
I always have pen and paper in my handbag. For me, not having a pen and paper is right up there with my fear of snakes! *laughing*
I remember once asking a friend to write something for me (when I was editing The Mother magazine). Her hands were busy with little children, but I knew there was an article inside her just waiting to be written: write it on toilet paper when you go to the loo, I told her. Just write! She did end up writing articles for me, not on loo paper, but on old bits of paper and the backs of shopping lists. She kept them all tied together with a bull clip.
And that’s the key. Too often we make excuses about writing. How many people have said they’ve got a novel inside them? Don’t just talk about it, write the thing! The truth is if we want to write we will make it happen. In my case, I wrote six novels in the course of one year. Five of those were while I was editing a magazine, and for half that time I had home-educated teenagers. When did I write? Between about 4am and 8am. I wrote like a mad woman, not because I was ‘mad’, and certainly not because I’m a ‘morning person’; I wrote because the fire burned brightly in my belly. I wanted to write, and so I did.
If you want to write, you’ll find a way. You might choose to go barefoot, or perhaps you’ll wear 6-inch red heels and sip a cappuccino in a fancy café while you’re jotting down sentences. If scribbling important thoughts on loo paper isn’t your thing, try parchment and a fountain pen.
The only person who ever stops us from being a writer is ourselves.
Did you ever watch the movie Field of Dreams? If there’s anything to remember from that film, it’s this: build it, and they will come. And I say: write it, and they will read it.