xxiv

I’ve been going through some of the previous posts following a comment W2B made, that when I’m writing them I tend to stop when I really should keep going – because it’s only at this point that I begin addressing the point. I first thought I’d find a post and continue off from its conclusion, but I don’t know if that’s the best way to start.

We’ve been reading Jane Eyre together, well she’s already finished and I’m just over half way through. But what I’ve recognised in Eyre is the type of voice – I’ve already mentioned this – and style that I think I’m most natural at, which I write best. Crucially though, and clearly because it’s a novel not a journal, the self-examining does not endlessly circle the same plughole, or pad around a topic without ever getting closer to it.

Again, this is obviously because it’s a novel, when progression and development is important to maintain the narrative, and especially when using a voice such as this. A book could get very dull very quickly if each chapter were an inner rehashing of the protagonist’s emotions over and over without ever getting anywhere. So, I see, can this diary succumb to my tendancy to return, not necessarily to a topic, but to a feeling or worry.

Instead of making it dull, which isn’t a real concern given the reasons I’m writing, it actually does something worse here – it makes it defunct. My better half is always quick to call me up when I start going over the same ground when we talk about us, about our future, and of course has pointed it out here too.

Addressing tension is difficult, of course. Yesterday’s post was the most honest and open for a while, very much addressing something which until then I have, I think, chosen not to explore. Not that I’ve known it and have ignored it, or hidden it, but that I’ve just believed it would work out on its own, that eventually it would stop being a source of tension and the worry would be removed.

Except, thicko that I am, we know that the absolute worst thing to do with tension is to sit on it or choose to look the other way. At the moment my tension is in worry about her reaction, which has been briefly mentioned but not really fleshed out, because I’d already failed to express myself clearly enough and left her feeling that I saw her approach to writing as making it boring. Which just isn’t true.

That said, W2B has also said that my posts make her happy because often I’m exploring things she feels she might otherwise have to spell out to me. These are the best moments, the best reasons to keep writing this, and also the most important reason for me to maintain this as a proper tool, not just a blank page to be filled with meaningless nothing.

This post isn’t exactly revalatory, admittedly. It’s meandering and not really getting anywhere, but then this is how I feel at the moment. I was sitting on the couch, seeing it was 9pm and feeling that maybe I didn’t have time to write or maybe that I didn’t want to. Immediately I sat down at the laptop to start this post, so it’s no surprise that it’s a slightly forced and unambitious offering.

Except that doesn’t mean it’s purposeless, because now, as I approach my word target for the exercise, I can feel Gunny behind me warming up ready for another slog at the poem. By starting to write I’ve reawoken or refreshed my need to write, and I can also sense the faintest threads of inspiration as I get myself ready to start the real project, the proper writing task, to make myself the writer and write what I need to.

I’m now keenly aware of where this post has taken me, and that I’m soon going to be finishing, and where that leaves the thoughts I’m having. I’m pleased, in that by brushing off the idle thoughts I’ve cleared space for an urge to write something exciting, something driven by an idea rather than an ‘issue’. I’m impatient, because I want to get started. And, maybe, I’m impatient because I don’t want this feeling of capability and potential to fade.

Of course I worry about my occasional reticence to write, but I’ve posted much about this in the past. What really pains me is when I feel, as I’m beginning to now, that passion, that excitement that I have such a gift that I can create something only limited by my imagination, or when it hits me with such clarity that I need, right away, to be writing and creating, it hurts that when I awake the next day or perhaps wander around a little directionless I can feel the urge ebb and seep away. I can feel my passion die.

I don’t know what will maintain that feeling. Perhaps completion of projects, with each new polished manuscript a tombstone for another of my issues until I’m fresh and excited all the time with the prospect of writing. This is a pleasant idea, but true fiction. That feeling will enrich my life as often as the abscence of it will pull at my soul and make me feel I am worth nothing, I have nothing, I can do nothing.

It’s bipolar, my relationship with writing, though the use of that word troubles me because it immediately raises in me a need to explain that, no I don’t think my ‘little’ problems with writing are as unsettling or life-affecting as those of people who truly are bipolar, but that also it’s the definition of that word, that extreme swinging between positions, which connects very well with me, almost every facet of me.

But now I feel the passion, even writing the last few paragraphs – when before I had been impatient at the thought of having only a matter of time to seize the feeling – they have solidified the urge in me, like a second wind, like a fresh breath, waking me up and shaking the day away. I’m off to create.

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About Ben Catley-Richardson

Writer, reader, husband. Father!
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