Today I have been thinking about… looking sideways.
Looking sideways: not literally of course, that’s generally good practice, especially when driving. Left, then right.
No, I mean looking around at other people, in your field, in your industry, or in your community. Thinking ‘they are much more successful/talented/popular than me.’ Giving up a little. Checking who has the most likes or friends on Facebook, watching the stratospheric rise of a colleague, just plain wanting someone else’s raw talent instead of your own small gifts. Wishing you had started sooner, rose quicker, ‘made it’. Made what exactly?
Remember about subjectivity. Unless you are the best in the world in your field (if that can even be objectively proved), someone is always ‘better’ than you.
More importantly, I remember – that when I’m only looking sideways, it’s not safe to drive myself forwards.
Today I have been thinking…about my novel.
As if I’ve been thinking about anything else for the last two months. It feels wrong, somehow, talking about this on the blog. I’m supposed to have a tinylife, how can that include insurmountable, unbelievable, incomprehensible ideas like writing a novel? Let alone having a novel published.
And yet, this has happened to tiny me. I wrote and wrote a story I believed in, then I sent it to lots of people who publish books, and one of them said ‘Yes.’
Clearly the last 23 words do not in any way communicate what it was like.
So now there is a whole novel out there in the wide world,
doing its level best in a world full of novels.
I wrote it. I’m proud of it. I really am a writer.
Today I have been thinking about…pictures.
I love pictures, and photos. Who doesn’t?
I’m a writer, though.
I make pictures, but with words: of feelings, scenes, relationships. I want my readers to feel they are in my settings, with my characters, seeing them through black marks on a white page.
I get that Social Media works best with a picture, and words, so I try.
But words are where I start and finish. And yet, I spend so much writing time drawing, editing, taking, or finding pictures!
However, today, as I type, a photographer is taking my photograph.
He’s doing a great job, building the image…even managing to put me at my ease, sometimes.
So it’s against all the odds that the pictures I decided to draw for this blog have become – important? Of value? Fun anyway.
What does it mean to you? A place of comfort, of refuge, of arguments? Or peace?
Is it a physical space? A building, a street, a town or city? A whole country?
Is it a state of mind? A visceral feeling of belonging, of deep rooted connectedness? Something so strong it binds you to being there? Cannot tear you away, but for a longing that squeezes you tight.
Is it in time? A memory? A moment stilled? A perfect frame of happiness- of sights and sounds and smells. The beautiful stillness of that second, or season.
Is it in people? A bond with others who share life with you? Family? Friends? An entire community? Or place?
Is it within you?
In being at peace with yourself?
wherever you are.
Today I have been thinking about…darkness.
I’m not talking about the darkness of winter or the darkness of the depth of the night. Well I am, metaphorically. I know, I know, she kept to the positivity thing for what, two months?
When you go to bed dreading something. You wake and it’s already happening: you are powerless to stop or even impact it. When your voice on social media merely echoes the voices around you. You all know that decisions have been taken and that they are wrong, but those who represent you don’t give a damn. When those with power refuse to recognise the futility of the full circle, terror mirroring. That’s when it feels like darkness reigns.
It is difficult, at these times, to lift your eyes to glimmers of light.
But we must.
They are there.