Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Can't Blog - 10 Reasons Why

I tweeted that I had Bloggers Block, basically giving myself an excuse not to write for some time. Instead a motivational writer called Allison Tait on Twitter suggested I blog about it.

Here goes what I would have blogged about, why I didn't blog and everything in between:  


This month I read a brilliant book called THE HUMANS by Matt Haig. It was about a superior alien being who comes to earth and inhabits a human's body. He learns about the essence of humanity and the value in being human despite being mortal. I was enthralled and also felt like it had a really important message. I considered blogging about it but then I thought of all the book bloggers out there and suddenly couldn't be bothered...


The Humans is a great story and has a poignant message. But it was a relief to listen to writer, Colm Toibin on Desert Island Discs. He said writers shouldn't get caught up in meaning but what happens next. What happens next with my blog? is a question that has been stopping me blogging.  


I'm writing episodes for a digital story app which involves working online and always on a screen. Bye bye pen and paper, I even have an Instagram account for these fictional characters! Even when I do have spare time to blog, I can't face being on the screen. Parents used to say: if you sit in front of that screen any longer you'll get square eyes! I feel this warning is more relevant than ever.


I'm watching a really entertaining series called Sense 8 on Netflix about 8 people who live in different parts of the world, who are connected by their senses and slip into each other's lives, sometimes inhabiting their bodies to help them get out of sticky situations. I don't know what's going on, but it's more entertaining than writing a blog post...

5. MONEY... POWER....? MEH.

I feel less ambitious than I used to be. I'm proud of my last novel #PleaseRetweet but I also realise as a small fish it's very hard to get a book to a large audience.  I guess the disappointment has been interfering with my desire to blog.  On the other hand I'm finally getting paid for other types of writing (see point 4) and that's very exciting. Deep down I'm relieved that I no longer feel writing novels is the most important thing in my life. Success isn't about money or fame. Success is the freedom to have a BBQ on a Tuesday because the sun is shining and you feel like it.  

6. MORTALITY (and wine)

Death has put me off blogging. I'm still coming to terms with losing my father in law. I get sad and have a glass of wine instead of writing a blog because what I want to write is too personal. 

7. DITTO 6

There's a friend I love very much who isn't well. It's difficult to write when you're carrying a lead weight in your stomach. Again, it's too personal and should be kept in a diary not a blog.  


To deal with the uncertainties of life I keep telling myself to LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT. Unfortunately this command is not followed by NOW WRITE A BLOG!  It's like I've lost a sense of urgency because blogging isn't as important as savouring the moment, something like that...  


I love life in Mallorca. Moving here was the best thing I  ever did. The sun shines, the culture inspires and I have more friends than I've ever had in my life. But who wants to read a smug blog post about that? I've been very lucky to be born in a rich part of the world where moving to improve the quality of life doesn't involve perilous boat journeys and paying off bandits. All I can say is if you're lucky too, don't be afraid to move countries if you feel a pull to do so. Life is short (see point 6 and 7). Take the bull by the horns!


Don't take the bull by the horns literally. I don't support bull fighting. I can understand why people do because nothing is black or white. But if endless Facebook videos have proved anything, it's that animals experience great joy, which means they obviously experience great stress and pain. I feel like as a blogger I should have lots of strong opinions. Strong opinions invite strong reactions however, and I didn't become a blogger to argue with people all day, especially as people rarely change their minds about anything! I'd prefer an uplifting blog... I just need to work out what that involves.

Despite being blocked, I've written a blog. Thank you @altait. Evidently part of the solution to creative blockage is having supportive people around you!

Any bloggers out there who want to share how they get over their blogging humps? 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Magic Lessons and my Hope for 2016

Happy New Year! I've just recovered from reading everyone's New Year's Resolution. What a motivated bunch of people there are out there. May the force be with you all while you work to achieve your goals. I am continually inspired by those making efforts to fulfill themselves creatively against all odds.

Feeling stuck? I've just come across Magic Lessons podcast by Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic author Elizabeth Gilbert. Her first episode helps a blogger grapple with creative passion, motherhood, guilt, and the code of family loyalty. Gilbert has a melodic voice and if you don't mind a few enthusiastic AWESOMEs!! here and there you might just enjoy it! 

It's been a tough few months my end and I find myself reducing all my hopes for 2016 to: Can everyone I love please stay intact for the duration (and beyond)? 

There's nothing like death and disease for making you realise how little control we have over the future. Which is why they say we shouldn't live in the future. It makes me feel less ambitious somehow. Suddenly it feels just as important to enjoy a meal fully, as it does to publish a book. I don't think that's necessarily a negative conclusion either.

Anyway I don't believe that we are without ANY control. We can decide what we do with our present. January wouldn't be January for me without some sort of plan of action. Today I drew up  a simple grid to tackle my scheduled three months of editing my new novel. I've also just had the green light to write my second episode for an interactive fiction app I'll be able to share news about soon. 

With winter, life has become very peaceful on the island of Mallorca. For some, there is no work until Spring, but as a freelance writer there is always plenty to do. I suppose it wouldn't be normal to be highly motivated all the time, the key is just to stick to our creative path and keep going, step by step by step...