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Catherine Ann x

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Strength Through Writing

You may have noticed I haven’t been quite as attentive as I usually am vis-à-vis blogging of late. My posts have been sparse, for which I apologise, not only because it’s been Study Central at my house recently, but also because I haven’t felt a lot of enthusiasm for my blog. It’s been a while since I ran home and logged on to check my views, or grabbed a scrap of paper for a post I really needed to draft, ASAP.  

I have been writing some posts, but none seemed to flow very well or have a good, solid point, so I decided to leave them till I’m feeling more up to it.

My emotions have been all over the place recently. I’ve been moody and stressed and that, for me, isn’t really a good place to “blog” from. I’ve always felt that the hardest part about having a blog is that what you’re really selling is yourself. The popularity, success, and just the general contribution your blog makes is all to do with whether people like the personality you’re putting across. If they don’t, then they probably won’t want to read anything you have to say.

So if you’re writing something with the intention of it being read, and it’s coming from a negative place, you run the risk of sounding at best disjointed or confusing and at worst negative or resentful.
The night before my English mock something put me in a bad mood, and that meant my personal essay the next day was basically me complaining and trying to make a coherent passage out of a hundred different opinions.

That’s probably why I’d be afraid to write professionally—say for a magazine or newspaper—because so much of my writing depends on my mood. So if you miss me for a while in the Blogopshere, that’s how come. My life, like everyone else’s, has its many ups and downs, and my blog is always going to be an extension of that.

Rest assured, however, that I am always writing—even if you don’t see it. There are two types or writing I do: blogging and so forth for you guys to read, and also my fiction writing which is very different. Very few people have ever read my fiction, and it certainly isn’t ever written for anyone but me.

I started writing fiction when I felt lonely and upset. It was, unashamedly, a form of escapism, as reading and writing are for so many people. So while my “professional” writing might suffer from my mood fluctuations, my fiction work is essentially this big Dementor that feeds on it (Better analogy to come when I think of one). When things aren’t going my way, I love to sit down and type or scribble a story… and that’s where we come to strength.

I get so much strength from writing, because all of us writers love our characters—I think—and we are always strongest when we’re with those we love. Even if they aren’t particularly… well, real. That doesn’t always matter, and sometimes in fact, it’s better.

I love to delve into a story that’s never been finished, with characters  friends I’ve known for years, and maybe I’ll develop the plot, maybe I’ll develop them as people, maybe I’ll think about my setting. I’ll do anything but be in this world and worry about my real life, my other life.

At the moment, I am continuing work on a story I suspended about three years ago. It’s the first “book” I started on deciding I wanted to write. It’s always been the most special to me, and the one I’ve kept most private. Even the little scraps I might have mentioned or shown people have made me feel pretty uncomfortable.

It’s not the plotline or the setting. To be honest they’re not very unique or special. I know that.

It’s the characters. They’re all mine and I love each and every one of them, possibly irrationally. I write about people who are both strong but realistically weak, smart but realistically stupid at times… I have such a collection that I know, when I’m in trouble, one of them will know what to do. Which means, really, that somewhere inside me, I’ll know what to do. Does that make any sense at all?

The reason, when I gave up writing that story for a multitude of reasons years ago, that I always knew I would come back, was that I love those characters so much and I felt like their story deserved to be told, no matter how long it took and will continue to take.

Basically, I guess what I’m trying to say, in a very long-winded, roundabout way (you were warned at the beginning) is that I gather a lot of strength from writing. It’s like nothing else. It’s having a chat with an old friend who knows you inside out, it’s being completely alone and ignoring the world, it’s deep thinking, it’s thinking of nothing, it’s wandering down passages in your mind so long forgotten you surprise yourself with your own thoughts and memories…

And then, after a while, you finish writing. Take the pen off the page or press the x on the computer, and stand up. And get on with your life. And have just enough strength and fire built up inside you to last till next time. 

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