The task of writing

Currently I am sat in my spare room. Laptop on, perched on a little wooden chair at the tiny table that used to be in my Grandad’s kitchen. Feet curled up on its wooden bar that I used to only clip with my toes. And, for the last hour or so, I’ve been staring at the screen. ‘Add new post’ is glaring at me in its multiple shades of grey. All of this is because I am trying to make myself write, every single day from now until… forever I guess.

Part of the problem, you see, is that my head is constantly exploding with words. Little conversations with my gym instructor, the bank clerk or a parking warden (the less of those conversations had the better) leave a trace in my mind, and all I can think about is how to write about what just happened. Remember Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter, with her ‘quick quotes quill’? Well, my brain does the job of the quill; transforming the most mundane of daily events into some kind of paragraph. Sometimes it does get a bit annoying- mostly when I find myself looking at expectant faces when I’ve been too busy thinking and forgotten to reply. But, most of the time, I see my notating-noggin as something quite useful.

Which, is where I get back to my original point: I’m trying to make myself write everyday. All these little snippets are no use floating round my grey matter. In the past, a quick scribble on a yellow post it was about as good as it got. I once watched an interview with an author (can’t remember who), and she said she had to physically force herself out of bed every morning to get downstairs and get writing. So I guess it happens to the best of us….

Writing for me personally has always been a kind of catharsis. From pretty much as soon as I could write, I was given a diary and sat down in bed with a biro every night, ordered to fill in my three lines before story time. I still have said diary: far from being a thrilling insight into the psychology of a six-year-old, it invariably reads ‘Today I went to school. After school I went to (fill in blank)’. Pretty enthralling stuff. A few years later and several inches taller, my diary had expanded to a full A5 page per day. Faithfully I filled it to the last line with my melancholic teenage musings. During my University years, however, my diary writing came to a halt. Whether this was owing to the fact I was directing my energies into essays, or I naively thought I didn’t need to write now I was a ‘grown up’, I don’t know.

However, one rainy weekend I embarked on a three hour train journey from London to the North-East. Anyone who has born witness to the joys of the East Coast Mainline will sympathise I’m sure with the fact that it is simply just tedious. No matter how long you are on that train, and how far North you go, you are still miles from your destination. Rather than open my laptop and type the typical ‘f’ into the browser bar, instead, I decided I would write. I think what I wrote was something about trains (predictable), but either way, it was a step back onto the road of writing.

Gradually, my brain started to get itself back into gear (probably just as well, as this epiphany coincided with my final year). The internal notepad finally emerged from its hibernation period, and here we are…


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