Turn on the tap…

blog, nanowrimo, writing

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I have made it to the half way point. I have managed – somehow – to write a blog post every day for two weeks. Whoa. I am impressed with myself! I know that I’m only half way there but I am so glad that I’ve managed that make it this far! However, some days I feel like I’ve hit a wall. A dry spot. I want what I write to be something interesting, something that people actually want to read but it can be so difficult to know whether it is or not. I haven’t really got anyone to share my writing with before I ‘publish’ it on here, no one to tell me, “Um, Leah…that’s actually kind of boring.”

I set myself the task of writing something every day of this month for a reason. I want to create a habit – a creative habit! I don’t want writing to become a chore for me, I want writing to be something that I go out to do by impulse, “just because”. When I hit a ‘creative dry spell’ I want to automatically make the decision to just sit down at my computer, or with a notebook – and just write. What comes out of the tips of my fingers might not be the best of compositions, but I know that it will eventually ‘turn on the tap’, so to speak.

I don’t want to get home from work every night to just flick through Facebook and Twitter, maybe play a video game or two and then to fall asleep. I want to wake up an hour earlier than I need to in the morning, and write! I want to take notice of everything around me and describe it. Imagine stories and then put them down on paper. I want to make the most of my time here.

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
― Louis L’Amour

Sometimes I have the opposite issue. I have so many thoughts and ideas in my mind, and I can’t physically write it all down! I get overwhelmed. I will start to write one thing, and then suddenly move on to another – it’s like a creative ADHD. (You might have noticed that in my previous posts…sorry about that! I’m a bit like that in real life too. One moment we will be talking about a movie we’ve just seen, and then all of a sudden I’ll be talking about something completely irrelevant. Of course I’ll expect everyone to know what I’m going on about.) The vast amount of stories in my head immobilises me.

Today I was knitting (see what I mean about the ADHD? There is a point to this, seriously..!) and I decided to pick up a work in progress that I put down months ago. I have so many unfinished projects up in my room and it often feels like I can’t start another one until I have finished the rest! I’m feel like this when I am writing. I’ll push stories and characters to the back of my mind, hoping to extract them at a later date…I never do. I try to force myself to finish something that I’m not feeling inspired to complete. Perhaps I’m just not ready to end that tale just yet…

I guess what I’m trying to say is, write regardless. Write when you haven’t got anything to write about – because you will find something. Write when you have too much to write about – otherwise you might forget it. Start new projects before you finish others, write little biographies for characters from a different land, write descriptive writings of uninhabited cities! And use them at a later date. Who knows, maybe writing something fresh will inspire you to finish something old.

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Time, please slow down!

blog, nablopomo, nanopomo, nanowrimo, writing

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This morning it hit me. It is November. It is the fourth day of the eleventh month! I can hardly believe how fast the time has flown, how quickly this year has tiptoed past me, without even catching my notice. It’s kind of scary, really. It feels like only yesterday that fifteen year old me was sat in a classroom, bored out of my mind and just wanting to grow up! To finish my GCSE’s, leave school, get a job – to get away from the bore of classes that weren’t art or music or drama. I thought that my maths homework was the hardest thing in the world and that school would never end. But it did.

I took a Gap Year which flew by – too fast. It was probably the best year of my life. I worked at the Oakes in Sheffield; we ran activity camps for 8-18 year olds and it was wonderful! I met some of the best people that I know that year, and even though I’m personally particularly terrible at staying in touch, I know that whenever I go to talk to any of them, it is as if no time has passed at all. Last week Jemma, my old roommate posted a photo of us with two other girls, commenting that it was a two year old photo! I just don’t know where the time has gone. I guess something good came out of my gap year ending – I met my boyfriend!

I went to University for three months after my gap year to study music. I soon realised that University was not for me; I mean I was bad enough at school, I don’t know why I thought that going back was going to be of any use! I’m glad I went. I know that if I hadn’t, I would have spent the rest of my life wondering. It was an experience if nothing else – it gave me a taste of independence, leaving a good flavour in my mouth (much to the despair of my parents…) Whilst I was there, David practically lived with me. He travelled down on a Tuesday evening after college, and then travelled back again on a Sunday night – I’d go to the station with him, and then drop in at church on the way back. It was wonderful. I was with the man I love.

I also got a job at the bar that was located right below my lectures. When I was working I’d be able to hear the concert band practicing, students learning their recitals and impromtu choir practices. Every face was friendly and familiar, I got to know third year music students, one even asking me to sing with her in her end of year recital! It was such a great job and I loved it. It might sound crazy, but working is one thing I’ve always enjoyed. Earning my own money and saving up for a nice ukulele or microphone, being able to buy my own sheet music, books and stationary! It’s something I excelled in. So I left.

Now, life is whizzing by and I can’t stop it. I know that I’m only 20 and I’ve got my whole life ahead of me – I get told that all the time. I just can’t help but feel that if I relax, if I start getting complacent about my life, I will just miss it. I won’t even realise it, and it’ll be gone. I want to write a sucessful book, find my dream job, perform in a professional musical performance, travel, get married, have children and then bring them up right…I guess I just want to make something of my life, and after realising how fast these past eleven months and four days have passed, I’m afraid. I’m afraid that my life will have been for nothing. That when it inevitably ends, all memory of me will die too. I’ll just be another soul that had the great privelage of walking the Earth.

Time, please slow down! You don’t need to fly so fast. Just float…

I Love Writing

blog, nanowrimo, reading, writing

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I love writing. Ever since I could read I have wanted to write a book of my own. I would take a book in to school every day when I was younger – whether it was one of my own books, or one I was reading in class you couldn’t tear me away from it. During my break times, when everyone else was playing “Kiss Chase” or “British Bulldog”, I was sat on the wall with my nose buried in a book. The dinner ladies were my best friends, and they’d (have to) listen as I told them all about the world I was reading about at the time. I was a sensitive child and I thought that I was being bullied for a lot of my life – I’ll be honest, looking back, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it seemed. Although that didn’t make it any easier. Reading did. It would transport me to a magical world somewhere, a place where no one could hurt me.

I remember when I was about 8 years old, I started writing a short story about a servant girl who was born, lived, and worked in a Lord’s castle. The Lord was a good man, but his son was tyrannical, evil. He had this vendetta against the servant girl and did everything he could to make her life a misery. I think my eventual aim was that the son would start to fall in love with the servant. They would fall into this forbidden love, possibly get caught and banished from the land – but love would prevail! I illustrated the story and everything – I wish I could find it now, but I’d probably be too embarrassed to share it with you all anyway.

Back then, I wanted to be a published author, and that passion has never really waned. I read as much as I could, and I wrote as much as I could. I think the problem I had back then, the thing that held me back was that whenever I expressed a desire to be an author (or an actress, or a singer…) I was told that it was just unrealistic. “Authors rarely make the big time,” and “unless you plan on being JK Rowling, you’ll never be able to pay the rent!” Writing is really in my family. My sister, Hannah won a Creative Writing competition when she was (I think) 16, at Keele University; I believe that my younger sister and I have poems in an actual published book of selected poetry – full of poems written by school children; my oldest sister writes for a blog, who she also proof-reads essays for, freelance; my Grandad writes short little poems. Writing is really part of my DNA and I still have this desire to write and write!

Now, I am 20 and I have all of these ideas in my head that I just have to get down on paper! Short stories, poems and even novels come to my mind. I know that I was only told that writing is a difficult field to get into because it is true, and the people who told me only did so because they were concerned. However I honestly believe that with a little bit of persistance, anything is possible. Currently it is the National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. The basic aim is to write (and complete) the first draft of a novel. I plan on writing every day, whether it be a blog post, a poem, a book review or a bit more of my current writing project. It is supposed to take 21 days to form a habit, so writing a little bit every day for 30 days should really get me into the cycle of writing! Wish me luck, and if you are also wanting to write a little bit a day, good luck to you too!