In some way, this has now become a last minute thing that I do when I remember at the end of the day – probably after dinner, after 10pm, after washing up, just before bed. Instead of writing this first and then going on to get Gunny and do some, well, real writing. I’ve been here before. I’ve talked about the point of this before.

It’s become an achievement in itself, leaving me feeling like I’ve done my writing for the day. That’s really because I haven’t been leaving myself any time after to do any writing, but there’s also been times when actually this has been an achievement of sorts, bringing out a lot of stuff that had needed to be exposed or worked through.

But I just don’t have the interest to keep up a journal as an achievement. Because when I post like today – rehashing old, old stuff – or like yesterday, when I’m merely picking up again and trying to get back into the habit of writing, it just feels needless, there’s nothing achieved here. But I don’t want to stop, either, because sometimes it works out brilliantly and I don’t just keep on spooking out whatever comes into my head, I really examine something or release something.

Ah, all I’m really doing now is avoiding actually writing. There’s the tension this is well placed to bring up, identify and hopefully alleviate somehow, this is the reason I keep on with this exercise. Yes, I’m avoiding writing. Does this mean I want to write? Christ knows what it means. I have and do spend too long asking what things mean, and not doing anything about them.

I love my typewriter, and sometimes I really feel like it’d be good to write all night. I want to start this project I’ve got, though it’s pretty scary, perhaps mainly due to my doubts about whether I can do it or whether it’ll actually work out any good. Any good? For who, it has to be asked. I didn’t realise I was still carrying around so much conflict – probably because I haven’t done this regularly in so long.

Hit out or get out time, do I want to write this bloody project? It’s a great idea, and I have a lot of confidence that I can recall all the memories that would make it possible. I’ve no deadline, so it’s really just about starting it. What is stopping me doing that? Certainly not WTB, who is very much bought into the idea. And I like the idea.

Today I walked home from work and realised that I needed to change my mindset from leaving work and walking home feeling as if I could now let go and relax, shut down, to making sure that leaving work and walking home was more a pickup, a kicking into a new gear, actually the time that my day really began. Because I can do the job I’m doing (or the way I’m doing it) in my sleep, do why would I need to relax after a day of easy jobs and Internet reading?

The way I work best is in bouts of activity followed by (or surrounded by) periods of, basically not doing much but thinking or reading. Ingesting and digesting, I guess you could say, though that analogy doesn’t put much of a positive spin on the work I do eventually… Ah, produce. At work I all but always get what I need to do done, though I tend to pick and choose the things which I put over-and-above the minimum required effort.

Coming home with this approach isn’t getting me anywhere – I’m slow, sluggish and not motivated, unsurprising after spending a day slothing through my to do list, inevitably getting some steam up and polishing off a load of tasks (usually under a deadline) before slowing up again, because I know I can, and mooching off around the Internet.

I have no deadline with my writing projects – I tried to enforce one with the competitions, tried to push myself into production by decided I’d enter my poem into a contest that gave me a month or so to complete it. But it felt too pressured in one way, as I arbitrarily returned to something I hadn’t thought properly about or had any new inspiration for, slogging on as if I really needed to, and yet the pressure was totally fabricated, since I wasn’t going to fire myself if I didn’t meet the date.

Which is big with me – I would rather disappoint myself than anyone else, so imposing my own deadlines never gives me any motivation, at work or at home. I haven’t had a problem with letting myself down, since that’s just me, I’m not accountable to anyone else, I don’t have to deal with anyone else’s disappointment or feelings.

But, Christ, what a way to fail at making myself happy. And if I’m not happy, which I’m not when I’m doing this to myself, then the people I love aren’t happy because how could they be with this misery guts around? I’ve been trying to stick up for myself against other people, against other situations, believe in my convictions, but how is that ever going to work when I can’t stick up for myself against myself?

I hate getting angry with myself but I’ve got to admit it’s a fairly successful – if not enjoyable – way to make sure I don’t do whatever it was I did again. Far more effective that just being depressed, which is a terribly passive, hopeless way to be. Anger isn’t exactly negative but it does at least suggest that there’s an alternative way, another option that I didn’t choose for whatever reason. It isn’t nice, but it is pretty bloody constructive.

Especially if I have the peace of mind to ensure the anger isn’t repressed or expressed in a way which does me harm, emotionally or physically. If I can blow my lid effectively enough with myself then there’s a hope there that the next time doesn’t have to be the same, that I can change and so avoid being angry in future.

If I don’t write anything after this tonight I’m going to be so angry with myself.


About Ben Catley-Richardson

Writer, reader, husband. Father!
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