…. move, move, move.
I’ve been away for the last week. I don’t suppose anyone noticed. I rather hope you didn’t. I have tried to post each day, though sometimes my timing has been erratic to say the least. But I haven’t been visiting other blogs as much and putting myself around on the ether to comment as often as I sometimes do. This has led to feelings of guilt. Yes, really, guilt.
What on earth, you may say, would make you feel guilty? Well, all you lovelies have been visiting me and liking my stuff (some of which has been a bit thrown up there) and commenting like fury and I feel as though I have been ignoring you. I haven’t been on much other social media either (though I shouldn’t think Twitter or anything else will have noticed – although there are probably those on LinkedIn and maybe GoodReads who think I’m very rude!). But then again, I think ‘Guilty’ may just be my default position.
And the biggest guilt I ever have is over writing. Does everyone get this or is it just me?
I think it’s because writing can always be put off. The doorbell rings, someone arrives, I stop. The same with the ‘phone. And life in general, if it comes to that. I often have to ‘fit my writing in’. Now, I don’t go out to work, although as I mentioned the other day, I do have a job which rears its head from time to time (Er, it’s reared. You have an exhibition coming up. Yes, shh. Talking about writing, at the moment. But that’s something else to feel guilty about – Yes, but not right now!!!!) and writing has to be fitted in around that, but it takes precedence (Ah, but should it? – Shh. Go away!). ‘I write therefore I am’, and all that.
But sometimes, other things do interfere and writing cannot take precedence (Now we’re getting somewhere – exhibition? Didn’t mean you – go away!) and this week, I was on a sort of road trip away with my husband. Couldn’t write in the car (Yuk, no, couldn’t do that – I’d have been ill – did daydream some scenes though), couldn’t write through long, delicious dinners, or through sightseeing trips, nor through delightful chats with friends and relatives visited en route. Snatching moments to write the blog post – before breakfast, late at night, before dinner – I learned that I can still write the way I used to when I worked full-time. The secret is planning.
I know I’ve banged on about how I’m not a planner. Well, not the sort that writes it all down in triplicate beforehand anyway. But I do think things through and kind of know what will happen when I eventually do get my hands onto the keyboard. My head writes even when I don’t know it. There are always lots of food references in my writing – not usually as overt as in ‘A Taste of Death‘ – maybe because my brain is taking note of the flavours as I eat those delicious meals I can’t write through. Daydreaming in the car, noticing what people are talking about in restaurants, observing from the top deck of the open-top bus in Whitby how people walk, all this is writing. I took a pristine notebook with me in which I now have copious amounts of ideas, thoughts, landscape scribbles and snippets of conversation. And I took lots of great photos to act as writing prompts and illustrations too.
So although I do feel guilty about neglecting all of you this week, the motto I want to bring to your attention is: ‘Nothing is ever wasted’. It all goes into the compost heap at the back of the head, there to fester alongside other bits of manure, ready to mutate into writing gems.
Even when we’re not writing, we can still be earning our keep as writers.
Even when on the move.