Welcome to a ‘Cuppa Tea an’ a Chat’.
How are you doing? These are challenging times aren’t they?
I am going to have a quick chat with you today about writing, repetition and carving your own path. If you are reading this during March or soon after, then you will be well aware of what the world is going through right now. I will speak about this a little at the end of this page, so that if you don’t want to see any more about it, you can read what I will share about writing and then move on.
A couple of weeks ago I took this picture of my cat walking his well worn path down the garden. Both of my cats use the same route. Once out the back door, they head for the side of the garden and walk in exactly the same place every day down to their favourite bush, then up onto the wall and across the neighbours’ gardens to God knows where!
As the grass was yet to be cut the trail is all the more prominent. I can still see it now after the first mowing of the year. And you guessed it, that made me think!
Firstly, about how consistent repetition leaves a visible mark.
There is a piece of advice that is given to writers all the time and that is, write consistently, daily if possible. Even if just for an hour a day. In all my years of writing and trying to write, I have never been able to consistently follow that advice. I have tried. However, when I failed, I would feel really bad about it. I used to wonder if this meant I am not driven enough to be a successful writer. A writer who will get published. In the end, I realised this advice is like all advice from successful people. It suited them, it worked for them and it might work for those who can manage it also.
However, this does not work for me and happily I am now big enough and bold enough to admit that, and even better, to not worry too much about it. Even in the rare times when I didn’t have a day job to go to, I only managed to write for 4 to 5 mornings a week. Life, family and housework took up the rest of the time! Now, with all those things and a part-time job as well, I have set myself a reasonable goal of 4 writing days a week. A writing day translates to anywhere between 1 to 2 hours of writing in the afternoon. This suits me, it is realistic and I am managing it at the moment.
I am carving my own path. The one that suits me. One that has still made an impression over time even though it wasn’t a daily routine. Just yesterday I finished a very short and very rough first draft of my second book. I’m delighted, in so far as anyone can feel delighted about anything considering what else is going on in the world. I will have a lot of work to do for my first edit of this draft but I am really looking forward to getting stuck in and fixing all those gaps I made myself skim over in the first sitting! It is good to have a creative outlet right now.
The second thing this winding path made me think about was those thin trails in the heather you see in the open mountains. The ones made by deer. They begin and end in the middle of nowhere and when you find them your way becomes easier. Sometimes, out of nowhere you hear a startled cry. Deer. Then you can be lucky enough to see a whole group of them dash away at speed. Although I do feel bad when I disturb them!
When I let my imagination wander off the beaten track, my mind can find these ‘deer tracks’. A place away from the noise of other stories but hitting on something that is still familiar enough to allow the writing and the ideas to flow. It feels wonderfully lonely and special. I feel like I have stumbled upon a secret that nobody else knows about. As I write the secret is revealed to me. I often don’t know what I will type until I get to one sentence before it. The words and the story unfold only because I have ventured into the wild open mountain and started to explore! When this happens the last thing you need is to be disturbed by a phone call or an ill timed disruption from a family member. When this happens the secret bolts like a herd of wild deer and I would be lucky to ever find that exact trail of thought again.
On good writing days, following my own trail has been exciting. I let the ideas flow and if I have written something that I didn’t even know was in my head I will reread it nervously wondering whether it will sound silly once I have broken the spell created while writing it the first time. So far so good, I have been surprised to like my deer tracks even more when I reviewed them!
The real test will come on this first edit. Enough time will have passed to allow me to be more critical and I will no longer be in a writing trance where everything is so mystical.
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this little insight into my writing experiences. If how I approach writing interests you I spoke about this in my latest YouTube video here.
I also have some of the editing information links here on my website.
You may have noticed that I also love Tarot, so if you like Tarot or Oracle readings also, do check out my pages here or my feed on Instagram for some free mini-readings.
I’m looking forward to spending time with you here again soon.
God Bless and Take Care.
Slán go fóill! (which is ‘bye for now’ or literally ‘safety for a while’ in Irish).
As I write this Ireland has started it’s second week of school closures to help stop the spread of Covid19. We have moved to increased physical distancing measures, just short of lockdown. Italy is overwhelmed and Spain is suffering badly, China maybe turning a corner, the rest of the World is hoping to avoid the full extent of what Italy is suffering, but each Country is facing a similar infection trajectory … so only time will tell how each Country, Community and Family will come out of this.
I just wanted to acknowledge these events, as it would seem unreal to avoid them altogether. However I realise that talking about it too much can increase people’s anxiety and I don’t want to do that either.
So, can I just send out a God Bless and Take Care to everyone as well as a Huge Thank You to anyone reading this who is keeping our Countries going with life’s necessities. I’m sending so much love and thanks to the healthcare workers.
My love, prayers and healing thoughts to those who are sick.
To those who have lost a loved one, my thoughts are with you at this difficult time. I am praying for you every day.