Well the point of today's blog is really to talk about my writing and present some stream of consciousness which I will pop in my creative writing portfolio, which you can find here and I will get that up as soon as possible.
The title of today's blog is a lyric once more from Frank Turner and his song Sea Legs.
Shall we crack on?
Writing has always been one of my passions, ever since I was at primary school I was writing and creating stories. Then I started reading and I think it all started from there. I have way too many books and I am still on the lookout for more. I think it is fascinating how words on a page are able to transport us to another world, another time and we can step into the characters shoes and see what life is like from their point of view. It can take us away from the world we live in and give us time to ourselves. It's an escape, pure and simple. And I love it.
Recently, I have been reading lot more poetry, especially T.S Eliot and I am so in love with his writing style. I am no way a poet, I class myself as a prose writer and even the short streams of consciousness I write, well I wouldn’t' class it as poetry. More like free writing that hasn’t been edited or changed. I just write what's in my head then check it over for spelling mistakes and grammar. But I don't really change anything. It's something I have really begun to enjoy, there are no endless drafts, no trying to get it perfect. It's just writing, raw and simple and wonderful.
Staring down at the paper,
Pen gripped slightly between shaking fingers.
It was always so simple,
Words would appear from thin air,
When she least expected it to happen.
When the inspiration struck,
And an idea formed behind tired eyes.
It was so easy.
Now, now it just wasn’t.
Where did the motivation go?
The inspiration that could boil her blood,
And set her heart racing,
As hands scribbled words down,
Her mind ten pages ahead of her pen.
Writing for hours on end,
Ink smeared on crisp paper to create something she could be proud of.
Now it was different.
There was no motivation, no inspiration in sight.
It has all disappeared.
She threw the pen on the desk,
The clatter ricocheted in her chest,
As trembling hands swept black hair from her eyes.
Perhaps she should have picked a different carer,
Something that didn't require inspiration.
Something that required manual labour,
or maybe a desk job in an office.
Something that didn't require her to use imagination.
The empty paper glared at her.
Scowling, she leaned further into the leather chair,
"Writers' block, my arse,"
The muttered words hung in the air.
Then grasped blindingly for the discarded pen.
Chewing her bottom lip, she began to write.
I don't think we should wait around for motivation or inspiration or whatever you want to call it. Sometimes you just have to write, even if you don't have any energy. It has to get done, there are deadlines to meet and pieces to get completed. If we all waited around for artistic inspiration, then I don't think that anything would get done! I know of people who can't write unless they have an idea so they spend days not writing because they are waiting for that spark all writers crave for. But really, how often does that happen? Not very is the answer. Being a writer means writing if you don't feel like it, because that is how you get better, you gain experience and perfect your skills. If you need a prompt, then look out of the window or a photograph. Tell an even through a friend's eyes and see where it takes you. Listen to a song, but really notice the lyrics. Something may jump out at you and give you the inspiration you need. It's not hard to write. What is hard is continuing when you don't want to.
I have to say that being a writer is not easy. I've noticed that over the past few weeks, the more I watch the news or hear about the awful terror attacks around the world, I get so upset. Because this is not the world I want. I don't want to wake up and hear that another city has been attacked and there are sources of dead and injured. It really makes you lose our faith in humanity, it's heart-breaking and there are times I just can't stand it. But then the stories of heroism come to light, especially those of the emergency services and ordinary people who rushed to aid those who are hurt when others ran away. It's those stories that give me a little bit of hope, something that can keep me going even when it feels like there’s nowhere left to turn. This quote I really love and it goes,
Frodo: “What are we holding onto, Sam?”
Sam: “That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.” – Frodo and Sam, from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
There is hope in the world, there are some people who are truly remarkable and it's those people, those stories who give me hope. They are the ones who ensure I keep writing, They Keep going out and experiencing the world around. We all need hope and a belief that it’s not all bad news, there is some good in this world. I think it just takes patience and perseverance to find it.
Tom stood by the window, his hands firmed planted on the sill, fingers curling around the peeling paint. He gazed down at the street, the sea of cars and busses. The pedestrians, no bigger than ants, scurrying along the pavement. It all seemed too ordinary, far too mundane for his liking. Where was the excitement, the thrill of the chase, the adventure?
“Are you gonna open it or not?”
Tom turned his head and stared at Leah.
“Funny one, you are. Go on, I’m sure it won’t bite.”
“That’s debatable,” Tom mumbled, turning his gaze back to the street outside.
“I’ve told you to leave it, Leah.”
“She’s your mum, Tom. She’d want to know whether you got in or not.”
He crossed his arms over his chest, his fingers clutching at his shirt. He paused, he could hear Leah sighing behind him and the faint clink of a mug being set down on a table.
“She lost that right a long time ago, Leah.”
“I know. I’m not saying you have to forgive her-”
Tom spun around, his back bumped against the windowsill painfully. He gritted his teeth and stalked towards the coffee table. Leah held her hands up in defense as he snatched the laptop up and walked into the kitchen.
“She told them it was my fault Joe died! That lying cow tried to ruin my life, she deserves everything she gets and more,” Tom spat, dumping the laptop on the counter. He reached for the kettle and flicked it on. Leah sighed once more as Tom clutched at the counter, digging his fingernails into the wood.
“It wasn’t your fault, it was an accident. You do know that, don’t you?”
Tom sighed, scrubbing a hand over his face as the kettle began to bubble in front of him. He turned slowly, meeting Leahs’ concerned, and pixelated eyes for the first time since him Skyped her half an hour ago.
“I know it wasn’t.”
Leah beamed at him as she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
“Go on, go and fetch it.”
Tom stared down at his grubby converse, slumping against the counter and ignored Leah’s tutting through his knackered speakers.
“Tom. The longer you leave it, the less time you’ll have before the semester starts. You need to start getting ready, get packing.”
Tom raised his head as the kettle whistled and clicked itself off. He stared at his childhood friend, his heart hammering against his chest.
“And what if I don’t? What then?”
Leah grinned at him.
“We’ll pass that bridge when we come it to. Go on or would you prefer me to come over and open it for you?”
Tom held his hands up but smiled back. He tapped his hands against the counter twice, before pushing off and walking back into his living room, tea was forgotten about. He picked up the laptop as he went, Leah remained quiet but she was grinning up at him. Gently, Tom placed the laptop back down and stared at the cream envelope that sat on the table.
“Come on, Tommy. It’s now or never.”
Tom scoffed as he reached down, sending a two-fingered salute to Leah in the process. Her laughter bounced into his ears as he picked the envelope up, fingertips running along the smooth edges. His name glared up at him, bright blue ink staining the pristine paper.
Letting his eyes fall close, Tom took a breath and exhaled slowly, his fingers tentatively creeping under the sealed flap. A rip filled the air as he breathed deeply, his heartbeat slowing by the second. A single sheet of paper slid out onto his hands. At last, he opened his eyes.
“Well? Did you get in?”
Tom stared at the paper.
Things do become difficult, they do seem impossible. But there is always a way around it, there is always a way of avoiding the issues until you are ready to face them. I've found that the longer you put something of, perhaps because of fear or fatigue, then the worse that it becomes. Better get it out the way, at least you would have made a start. That is always better than nothing at all, isn't it?
I'll leave you with these quotes,
Never accept the world as it appears to be, dare to see it for what it could be. -Dr. Harold Winston, from the video game "Overwatch"
Someone I once knew wrote that we walk away from our dreams afraid that we may fail or worse yet, afraid we may succeed. – Forrester, from Finding Forrester.
What keeps you going isn’t some fine destination but just the road you’re on, and the fact that you know how to drive. --Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
I don’t want excuses. I know what you’re up against. We’re all of us up against something. So you better make up your mind, because until you have the balls to look me straight in the eye and tell me this is all you deserve, I am not letting you fail. Even if that means coming to your house every night until you finish the work. I see who you are. Do you understand me? I can see you. And you are not failing. – Erin Gruwell, from Freedom Writer.
Some people can’t believe in themselves until someone else believes in them first. – Sean Maguire, from Good Will Hunting.
Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased when there is nothing to remember except the story. -The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
Until the next time.