I need to begin again. Some would say I haven’t ended. But I feel I have. I say I am a writer but that is disingenuous. I haven’t written, had a writing practice in over a year. I imagine myself writing, and I conjure a block. I used to pull words like multi-coloured flags from a magician’s hat. Now I strain to remember. I worry about Alzheimer’s, or I’m just incredibly stressed.
Last night my daughter and I made up ghost stories from storytelling cubes. She shook them one by one. Six in total. Tumbling from her hand onto the duvet – barely a dent in the fabric – they returned a ghoul, a dark forest, a witch, zombies, a wand, and a grand father clock. She positioned each cube in a her chosen order, and began her tale. Cause and effect. Cause and effect. The end. Then my turn, and I found my self embellishing descriptions, proof I still retain an imagination. The moon shining on crumbling gravestones, on the upper most boughs of a sunken oak. The air that won’t move. Yes. Really. What was I trying a prove?
And then a fit of giggles as I pounced on her in surprise.
But ‘last night’ happened weeks ago now. Since then my life has been engulfed by life. By The Job. By the sports day. By the leavers disco, my daughter heading for year three. A junior. By the legal letters. By a lack of yoga and sleep. By the grass growing, and the sweet peas filling the garden with perfume and pinks and purples and blues.
The plan for Draft Eight sits on the wall. It’s a sight to behold. A plotter’s orgasmic dream. A different colour post-it for each subplot, for the continuation of the theme. Everyday I find the same post-it wedged between the printer and the wall, and every day I return it to Act Two, Second Turning Point. So far, I haven’t edited further than chapter one….
But I’m winging aren’t I? Because here I am writing. I have given myself a new goal – to write for at least ten minutes a day. A couple of sentences are better than none. I’m not always successful, but the intent is there. Earning money has become a new priority, the hobby a poor second place. But tomorrow I am treating myself to something delicious. Tomorrow I am heading out to the Shropshire Hills. A six-day writing retreat. The first time in a year to dedicate myself to my thoughts and my words.
I can’t bloody wait.