I’m staring at the yellow wall of our office, hoping to make a start on today’s writing practice but really I’m just waiting for a decent amount of time to go by before I feel justified in getting up from my computer and pottering into the lounge to waste more time, watching the telly.
I remember reading somewhere, that writers write. It struck me at the time as a wonderfully simple admonishment to just get off my arse and begin the task of writing.
Just write, every day – write anything . Start with a blank page and make marks on it – form words, string them together and write. I’ve done this a number of times over the years – in books and on my computer. In the form of blogs, journals and sometimes I’ve even attempted real stories.
All the time pretending to myself that I am not writing, I am not trying to be a writer I am just having a go at recording some ideas and being consistent about it.
The latest idea has turned up in the form of an online documentation of writing exercises. This time the plan is to write every day – or at least set out to write every day and record it online in a simple regular blog. So far so good, the blog is set up, I have set out to the local café a few times armed with some first sentences and some other story prompt tricks – and I’ve spent a few hours writing.
The thing is I’m now staring at the yellow wall – because, I don’t feel like going out today. Podgey was quiet all morning – and just as I have settled to type, he’s embarked on a number of business calls, where he is the one doing most talking. So I am challenged doubly
Firstly I am not writing long hand into my book – tucked up with a good cup of coffee. Secondly it’s now noisy here – so I’m struggling to let loose and just write.
I thought maybe I would stare at the wall and describe it – but to what end? I’m bored by the idea. I like the idea of closely describing an object or thing = it seems to me a good discipline to be able to observe something closely and capture it perfectly – or imperfectly.
So on the wall opposite me is the now defunct chimney breast that sits in our still in development office. The walls were painted a hopeful yellow by previous owners, because the room is usually dark as the coal house except for one hour a day when it’s so bright we’ve had to give in and put up a sheet of flip chart paper across the French window pane to protect our eyes from the eggy yellow explosion in-doors – most of that still remains although it is pitted and scrapped by the constant and careless bashing and crashing of first the workmen we hired to sort out the damp, the electrics and the plumbing and then us as we fitted new floors and leaned heavy, dirty things up against them because we can, because the walls, such as they are – are our walls.
When you know you’re going to completely redecorate you stop bothering to wipe grubby marks off the switches and you happily stick up messages and pictures with blue tack or even cellotape because it doesn’t matter. Well it doesn’t really matter does it?.
There’s a clock plonked on the only remaining nail in the wall in this room (the plasterers took out all the nails and screws to re-do the plastering – so half the wall is covered in new pink plaster cracking and drying unevenly, it looks horrible and dirty – everywhere looks dirty, even when it isn’t).
I’ve posted up an a4 printout of my strengths after doing a questionnaire designed by a gallup expert. It reads Louise David Strategic, Communication, positivity, Input , Ideation… You’d think with all that going for me I’d find it fairly easy to get a job. Not so… and the excuse that everyone is finding it tougher at the moment is wearing my nerves thin. I thought by sticking up my little list of strengths – I’d feel them – know them and use them more. Not really. I just feel a bit daft being the kind of person who needs to post reminders to herself that she can be clever and worthy of a job – even the man from Gallup thinks so.
I’ve also posted up a lovely line drawing from Randi – who has interpreted my awful scrawly drawing and ideas into something worthwhile . This will end up as the background for my new wordpress site. It is there to inspire me, and it does a bit – but really, it also makes me sad that I have so many ideas but I’m not really convinced they’re worth much. So many people shovelling things out there so many people setting up their blogs and their little sites and whatnot – why would anyone be interested in mine. They’re not love… but never mind about that so much.
I put the writing from this latest idea into a little blog – Shoes booze and me, shoboome for short – I liked that idea – it was neat and cute. I’m good at starting things. I now think it’s only really worth highlighting the stuff that I might produce that might have the germ of something good in it. There’s a lot of mights in my head, so I guess he was right, the bloke that said the pen was mightier… than the sword. The writer is more self conscious maybe than the warrior. Oof and bad jokes too.
There’s a hole in the wall where a really nasty modern fireplace had been installed. The plumber condemned it. I was delighted and had it removed completely – it has left a measly hole – too small to look good and too big to ignore. It must either be bricked up and plastered over or made much bigger and usable in some way. I can’t decide, and anyway this room will not be sorted for months yet – one’s thing for sure, there’ll be no magick entrance to a grown up’s Narnia throught that hole, it’s too bloody small… So I’ve shoved a canvas with some Kath Kidson material stretched over it in front of the hole. The canvas isn’t big enough to cover the whole hole and it’s floral and ditzy print annoys me. It was left in my London flat by some previous tenants who’s floral and ditzy attitude used to annoy the fuck out of me too - but I kept it. But it’s not my thing. Just a stop gap.
I feel like so much of all of this is a stop gap – I have come to a stop right in front of a ruddy great big gap. Ach this really is just rambling jambling nonsense, certainly not fit for anyone to bother reading, I’m only bothering to write it because I made a commitment to myself to put marks on a page everyday.
There’s a great book – the artists way and she gets you to write 3 pages every day – without sensorship – just write it out. Preferably when you first get up = you pick up your pen and write fast for three pages and you don’t look back over the previous day’s words either – you just keep going forward through your note book until the end – then you start a new one.
Ive done that many times over the years too = and it is a good discipline – I was hoping for something a bit more focused and more obviously productive with the C21000w project. However this entry is definitely one of those three pages moments . An early one too – producing little more than hot aired ramblings that should be walked swiftly away from. I shall do just that in a few more moments.