Write. That’s it.

My head is spinning. Am I in WordPress now? I haven’t created a Post here for a long while, and in the intervening weeks, WordPress is showing me a new face. I don’t have any of the familiar markers – I am just writing into thin air.

It’s Sunday and I am struggling with the whole writing thing.  It should be a joy. I should be eager to change into ragged shorts and teeshirt and go play in the gardens of my mind. Instead, like Oscar Wilde said about exercise, what I really want is to lie down until the feeling passes over. Preferably with a large mug of tea and any of the novels I have read countless times. Why should this be? I love words, I love words about what I love, but this doesn’t translate into writing the words down.

I can’t see the point. Maybe writing for a living since 1993 means that without an audience (in an ideal world, one who is a paying a fee) I feel that I am writing for nobody.  And it’s not as if I am out collecting extreme experiences. My life is as humdrum as the life of an 18th century country gentlewoman. (The clock’s loud ticking, the oceans of time). I don’t drive anywhere except to the gym, I don’t cycle, ski, skate, swim or run. An hour’s walk with Eddie the little white dog is a joint achievement, avoiding busy roads, vocal dogs, long stretches of harsh sunlight, and strange neighbourhoods.

So when I skimmed my weekly dose of inspiration and creativity, called Brain Pickings, I followed a thread about the importance of keeping a journal. And, yes, it is important. As is writing through self-doubt, boredom, hopelessness, laziness, noise and silence. Brain Pickings – worst name ever for one of the most generous resources online – is simply brilliant. Its creator, Maria Popova, shares ideas about creativity, love, life, the universe and everything, drawn from the great and good of this and other times. I recommend you subscribe to the weekly newsletter, from which you can jump off to dozens of related themes.

Thanks for reading this 10-min write, if you got this far. I am going to keep my journal for a week, and check in again next Sunday with juicy highlights. You?









Explore – I have advice for people who want to write. I…

I have advice for people who want to write. I don’t care whether they’re 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader. It’s the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it’s for only half an hour — write, write, write.Wisdom from Madeleine L’Engle, quoted in her biography. Couple with Hemingway’s advice to aspiring writers and Virginia Woolf on the creative benefits of keeping a diary, then revisit L’Engle on writing and creativity.

Source: Explore – I have advice for people who want to write. I…