Wednesday, 13 October 2010

/Wednesday 12 October | Excuses - what lies beneath...

Here are my current list of thinly disguised excuses not to turn up and write.
  • I have to look for work, this is time consuming and soul draining 
  • I'm too tired, because looking for work is time consuming and soul draining and tiring
  • I hate everything I write so the effort to write is not rewarded with any sense of achievement
  • I want to be brilliant, I am just shaving mediocre - this makes me tired and cross
  • I am now too tired and cross to attempt to write
  • I really do need to do the washing up, washing, tidying, filing, putting away first
  • I can't write after 6pm, I've never actually tried, I just feel I can't
  • I'm bored and being bored is not a good place to start to write, it also makes me feel tired
  • Other people are way better than me so there's no point
  • I'll just straighten those cushions before I start
  • I'm too cold, hot, hungry, thirsty, fat* 
  • I can barely bring myself to care, no-one else will, this also makes me feel tired.
On and on the excuses come, tumbling over themselves, pell mell. I like that word pell mell. I also like higgledy piggledy, helter skelter and lickety spit. It's my joy in language that prompts me to write along with the desire to tell stories that make life seem bigger and bolder.

I've been telling stories since I was a kid, only back then it was called lying. I liked to embroider the truth with coloured silks and flashes of gold - to make the telling all the more compelling and to make me seem far more exciting, prettier and way more clever than I believed myself to be.

Back then I was always the heroine, I was that child that no matter what you had done, seen or heard about - I had done it too, only my experience was always 10 times more exciting or incredible than yours. People don't tend to like little girls who tell big whoppers.

The more adults told me to stop telling porkies, the more determined to get my stories past the 'truth' police I became. If I had only intended to make them more interesting to the listener in the beginning, as time went on I became a determined fabricator. A first class liar.

I told so many fibs and tales that I would often get caught out in a lie by a school friend or my mother. That didn't matter much to me - I saw this as the real challenge, to be pulled up on a detail and to spin a plausible story around it. Time lines would be rearranged, characters would be shuffled around, and their words re-attributed to other people... My stories were an intricate weaving of truth, half truth and down right howling fib-pats.

I became addicted to the storylines, inventing twists and plot turns to rival Corrie. My friends and family simply stopped believing most of what I said, and accepted that for some reason I was a complete fantasist. I think my mum decided that I would grow out of it and would only rarely put up a factual based argument against my retelling of a family event. My father, rarely listened beyond the first few words, and remained blissfully ignorant of my jet black tongue.

My grandmother used to say that if you lost your way in the middle of a sentence then you were obviously fibbing - I became a practiced, smooth talking sheister. I wouldn't miss a beat as I claimed to have met John Craven on my way home from school, because he was doing something on stag beetles and there were a lot in the hedges near the school playing fields.

I did once nearly get me and my brother into serious trouble when I told anyone that would listen that we had started the fire on the disused railway tracks with a box of matches stolen from the corner shop in the village. My sister told my Dad and he was all for marching us up to the Police station, until under severe questioning and with my brother snivelling that he didn't do it -

I cracked and admitted that maybe this time I was stretching the truth. Yes I had been near the railway tracks and seen the fire as it was being put out, which was the real reason I smelt a bit of smoke and not as I had imagined and retold, because I had goaded my brother to start a fire and it had gotten out of hand.

That was the only time I revealed the real roots of a story.

After that no-one wanted to hear my stories, they made them cross and argumentative. I never really understood the harm in making things up - I never really thought of it as telling lies, although I did tell lies. Lots of them and not always for dramatic effect. Sometimes I told lies to be mean - or to get other people into trouble and although my friends and close family were wary - there were plenty of  other people like teachers and cops that were'nt aware of my talents and skills. Those are memories for another time perhaps...

Eventually I suppose I did grow out of the pathalogical fibbing, but without it I began to feel very dull, and the real me wasn't ever as pretty or clever as the fantasy me or even the real me talking about the fantasy me's adventures. So somehow I stopped pretending altogether. My stories dried up and the business of being an every day adult took over from the fun of being an extraordinary child.

So I find that my biggest excuse for not writing is that no-one will believe me...

 *feeling fat makes me despondant, being despondant makes for rubbish writing, therefore being fat means I can't write today. Seriously? Yup!

1 comment:

  1. 'My biggest excuse for not writing is that no-one will believe me'
    Oh come on - have you seen the world we live in? The countless media lies? The RIDICULOUS stuff on the internet? All lovingly sucked up by millions of people with nothing better to do and no thought of their own except for where the next distraction comes from. Seriously, people will believe ANYTHING!

    There now, you have one less excuse.

    (I am feeling SO cynical and hateful today. It's helping me write. It's helping me write a lot.)
    KB x