Amid times of great stress and turmoil (and there have been a few over the last 20 years) I have yearned to be able to write ‘stuff’ down. I haven’t just fancied it, I have felt a primeval need to do so. It has haunted many a sleepless night planning what to write and record events. I’m not alone in this desire either, friends and family have suggested I do it too. This may possibly have been a vain attempt to assist me salvage what is left of my sanity as much as providing a record for posterity but ever the optimist – I took it as encouragement.
So, after all this longing and encouragement shall I let you know how much I’ve written? A multiplicity of failed attempts resulting in roughly, eight pages! Over the last 20 years! Pathetic I know! I just haven’t been able to get the words in my head out in any form. Recently, I’ve been asking myself if I am a ‘wannabe’ blogger or just a serial procrastinator?
Why do I find it so difficult? I buy lovely notebooks, gorgeous pens, I’m lucky enough to have a great laptop, I’ve loaned Julia Cameron’s ‘Right to Write’ book from the library on numerous occasions (I think at one point I even bought my own copy – and then gave it away to a friend!). I even bought a huge writing mug so I could sit happily ensconced with caffeine filled mug and muse overflowing. Yes, I realise I have a romanticised view of writing. Needless to say, the mug got charity shopped and I was no further forward.
Add to the mix, that I’ve never been very good at devoting any time to ‘me’ … I can find ANY excuse not to write (I must admit I’ve just given the kitchen hob a vigorous polish, and am looking beseechingly at a basket of ironing – yes, I know how bizarre this sounds!) I don’t find it easy to devote time to my mind and its ramblings. This is possibly just a trait of motherhood – ‘back of the queue’ syndrome I call it. However, following my daughter’s cancer diagnosis I have had to learn how to queue jump. The role of oncology parent necessitates you to look after yourself physically and mentally so that you can do the gazillion things and have the super human resilience required of you. I am now firmly at the front of our family queue – mentally at least.
Where to start is another major obstacle. Step-motherhood? Raising teenagers? Pre-motherhood? Pre-divorce? Post-divorce? Online dating? Family trauma? Family relocation? My child’s cancer diagnosis? Post oncology treatment? And now we come to it … do I really want all and sundry knowing my deepest personal thoughts? Social media is a funny old kipper – some love to wash their ‘smalls’ in public, but who the hell wants to read MY innermost thoughts which are clearly the inane drivel of a middle-aged mother in need of (delete as appropriate for the time of the month) :
a) HRT / SSRI’s
b) Wine / Gin / Chocolate
And then there’s the possibility of trolls … so collectively this
kind of ALWAYS puts the kibosh on my writing.
BUT, the thing is I read blogs … not always to the end admittedly – but I read them. I like them. It makes me feel connected and not alone. I like the humour and honesty that always prevails. And let’s face it in this current socio-political climate – those are things to hang onto.
So, when I was offered the opportunity to do a ‘guest blog’ I jumped at the chance. Admittedly, I then panicked and wrangled all weekend over potential topics before finally deciding this morning that my general ineptitude at writing might be as good an intro as any. And somehow, now that I’ve managed to start and finish one and possibly because this has been such an enjoyable few hours – and the kitchen hob is sparklingly clean – and I’ve accepted I’m not that unusual, my tastes aren’t that bizarre, I might be able to begin to do this… Hells bells, I even have the idea for the next one drafted and I am off in search of a new ‘blogging’ mug.