Writers Block

There are times when I cannot write,

from my brain to my fingertips

it just doesn’t come out right.

 

When my head is too sleepy

or my heart is too full

or I’m just not feeling writing glee

 

Does that rhyme not show

that today is indeed one of those

Yes, I’ve sunk to that low

 

 

You see I want to write,

each and every day

So this internal battle I’ll still fight

 

I’ll drag those words from every corner of my brain

Get out here you guys, I need you

God, writers block is a pain.

 

 

Where’s The Damn Book?!

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I’ve been wanting to write a book since before I started university. I’ve always written stories and the summer before I moved (3 damn years ago) I was working on my first novel. I was going to uni to do Creative Writing and I was going to be a writer. And then I started the course. I quickly realised I hated the course with a passion and spent a year of my life being told my work wasn’t good enough by older people. It always confused me because people my own age and one or two lecturers really liked it but there were some that were just hell bent on saying I wasn’t good enough. Now I’ve never had the strongest self esteem, I understand creative criticism but when you work so, so hard to get onto a course to be told by someone who has never read a word you’ve written that you’re writing is bad, you kind of take it to heart. Well, at least an 18 year old who’s just moved away from home and who’s walking around in an incredibly anxious state takes it to heart. I feel better now that it was just her opinion and truth be told after I refused to be caught by her after some catastrophic writing she’d put online (claiming that anorexia wasn’t real), I distanced myself from her and felt a little better about my writing. People liked reading what I wrote online, so why wouldn’t someone publish it eventually?

I’ve kept up my blog for almost three years now and had another before that, one of the main things people comment on when they search for me is the quality of my writing. So why isn’t that enough? This time last year I’d just returned from Athens on a week long creative writing course. Everyone was there because they knew to some extent what they wanted to write and I did too, something that my undergrad course lacked. Again I got positivity and some really great feedback but then the inevitable happened and I fell out of love with what I was writing and then I was there with ideas. Great right? I wish. I have all these ideas but self doubt is crippling. I write something, look at it a few hours later and can’t stand it. I get anxious that I’ll make spelling or grammar error and then be seen as an idiot. It’s deep in my heart that I want to be a writer, I want to see my name in a bookshop and see my thoughts on paper.

I know for a fact I can do it and I will, right now though my head feels so muddled and confused. What should I write about? Do I work on the non fiction piece? Do I try again on that old novel idea or start something completely different? Am I writing for Adults or Young Adults. All these thoughts go around and around in my brain and if I try and plan I get even more anxious because WHY IS THERE NO MANUAL THAT TEACHES YOU HOW TO BE AN AUTHOR. Which is silly, there’s no golden rule, not curse to break or magic formulae to make sure people will love what you’ve written. I know all this and yet I still want to delete pages of writing or worry about ever finishing something. I’m hoping these are rational fears.

It may sound like I’m complaining but I’m not, I feel like I have so much to give but it’s almost as if it’s trapped in my head and just won’t negotiate with my hands. I have ideas every night before I go to sleep and think they’re magical I wake up after scribbling them down and wonder how the hell I’m going to make something out of them. I don’t know, I thought I’d have a draft of a novel by now and I know, I know books can take years and years to just draft and then even more to get published. I’m just trying to get out of this rut where I just look at the page in anger because it’s just not doing what I want it to. My biggest critic is now myself, but I think with the voices of others inside, from the past who really shouldn’t be there. So I guess I’m going to have to work on kicking them out and working out what the hell I want to put on to paper, that might be a good idea. Oh and I might find the bloody book in my head stored away somewhere just waiting to come out.

 

Image from Pinterest

So far, so good

I’ve mentioned before that I wasn’t too keen on 2016. Now I know that the clock wasn’t going to strike 12 and my life was going to change but I was wary about it. That said we’re a week into 2016 and so far, so good. I can’t say that I’ve done anything spectacular and I haven’t had a lot of sleep but that’s ok. I’ve spent the beginning of this year how I mean to go on, looking after myself. My only regret so far is that I haven’t been able to go to the gym yet because I had my implant put in Tuesday and it’s still sore, but hopefully I’ll go next Tuesday morning and start my routine again.

I have had a first good week though

  • I’ve got stuff done that I needed to get on with.
  • I’ve lost a stone so far and I’m closer to my goal weight for my height
  • I’ve had a lot of good ideas for creative stuff, I mean they usually come to me at 1am but ideas are ideas.
  • I got my implant redone on my own (braveness points up)
  • I’ve become obsessed with to do lists – not even sorry
  • I went on my first double date! Ali and I went to a local Italian restaurant with Ben and Abbie before chilling with drinks at home
  • I got a first on my Creative Project! I was absolutely dreading getting the mark for this back after having to completely rewrite my piece of creative writing it in a week but I did it and managed a first, a great confidence boost.

All in all 2016 is doing well so far and I’m hoping that it gets even better. I really want to work with my mentor how how I’m going to handle all the changes too and feel a little bit more in control and not let my anxiety and depression take over.

 

Something a little different – sharing some poetry

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I wanted to share something a little different with you all today. I’ve been thinking of ways to make the blog a little more interesting and I have a lot of blogs planned out for you all! For today I’d like to share one of my poems I wrote a few years ago!

Heartbreak

I am falling apart

Pieces and pieces of this tough old heart

I know again that it will start

I will move on but for now I need to mend a broken, broken heart.

As always let me know what you think 🙂

Athens Day 5: My Last Class

Hello!

Much like yesterday I had to spend a lot of today resting, that and we hadn’t planned anything because of the decision on Greece’s financial state was due today and staying so close to parliament square made me feel a little uneasy. Luckily there were no protests and all was calm, well apart from loads of police being around at the moment. I hate to admit that I slept for most of today, once I fall asleep the pain is gone for a little while, which is good.

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          Ready for my final class and the British Council building where the magic happens! 

Tonight I mostly wanted to write about my course and the excitement and sadness of it being my last day. I’ve loved the course and interacting with other young writers as well as my mentor being amazing. I have ideas that I’d never thought of before and more confidence about my writing. Tonight we read a lot of short stories, talked about things we wanted more depth on like relating to the reader, dialogue, how much to tell in a story and how much to let the reader imagine. At the last part of the evening we met another class and had the opportunity to read, I actually wanted to do it. I was excited and terrified and people seemed to like my work!

While I’m excited that I have the tools to start working, I’m also a little sad that it’s over. My class had lovely people in it but we haven’t exchanged contact details, so I doubt we’ll stay in touch. I’m back to mostly writing alone, which I don’t mind but I’ll miss bouncing ideas off of people every evening. I’m so grateful that Kingston gave me the opportunity to take part in this, it was incredible.

To celebrate me completing the course, Ali and I headed to our hotels bar to have some dessert and a cocktail for me (Ouzo special mmmmmm!). I’ve really loved having Ali here with me, overall we’ve had a great time together and honestly I just feel like I love him a little bit more after everything he has done for me.

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As for tomorrow, I have no idea. We’ve kind of just left it open for us to take a wander and do what we feel like! Sounds like a good idea to me!

Athens Day 4: Spine Strike, Stalker Pigeons and Writing Inspiration

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Hello and thank you for understanding my late writing. Today was a very different day to what I’ve been used to in Greece. My Spine decided it had, had enough and I spent nearly all day lying in bed watching BBC World news and trying not to sulk. Yep, I over did it so for the next few days I’m going to have to go very easy until I get home. Ali and I took a short trip downstairs to grab a late lunch in the hotel bar, where we were stalked by hungry Pigeons! Despite my protests he didn’t leave me on my own, he stayed in the room with me working on his laptop and helping me any way he could.

Of course I still had class and that was something I wasn’t willing to miss, even if it took me ages to get up there. So I stocked up on my pain medication and made the trip, my walking was a little better after all the rest but like hell was I going to push it. We spoke about another student’s piece before being sent to do our assignment of the day.  I went to fit somewhere to fit and be inspired and ended up under a tree. I had this overwhelming sense of loneliness sitting there. I looked around and just missed London so much.

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I want to go and explore different cities, obviously, but none will stay in my heart like London. It’s a part of my heart and the Thames goes through my second home. Even when I was younger days to London were my favourite and I was always caught up in the city. I really did miss home, but didn’t let it show in my writing.

In the lift down after class, a woman was blunt she was older and American ‘You cracked your spine?’ she asked. I told her I had fractures, she looked at me (I sound so damn British here!) and told me she’d cracked her spine twice within 2 months of each other and wished me a speedy recovery. She was the first person while I was here to ask about it and I didn’t mind, it was better than staring.

Ali was waiting for me as usual and we decided to try and find some kind of food and returned to a restaurant we went to a few days before. They remembered us and we laughed through dinner where I finally got some traditional Greek food, Gyros Chicken with Pitta and Seasoned Chips. I’m so happy I’ve gotten to share this with my favourite person in the world, Ali’s so much more than just my partner he’s one of my oldest friends as well as my best friend.

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I don’t know what the plan for tomorrow is, it really depends on how my back is, but if I can’t explore again I’ll try and take the opportunity to write again.

Why I’m going to Athens

In less than 12 hours I will be on my plane heading to Greece, eek! This week I will be visiting the beautiful city of Athens for the first time and I’m stupidly excited. I wrote a little while ago about being accepted on a course that was thankfully being paid for by the university as a part of my work with the Kingston Writing School. While I wish I was going to simply lay around and enjoy the sights of Athens, instead I will be working on my creative writing skills!

Every evening I have a few hours of class with two other students, working on each others pieces and getting feedback on our own. It’s an international writing school, so it’s a great opportunity to network with people from all over the world as well. I really have to thank David Rodgers for the opportunity!

So tonight my family are driving me to meet Ali at the airport. Initially I was going on my own as this crazy, fun and scary adventure travelling on my own, then of course the accident happened and Ali’s Mum stepped in so that he could afford to come too! Now I’ve just there are about 4 shops open before security at 2am, so there’s going to be a lot of Cafe Nero before we can get our big Spoons breakfast. I’m a little nervous because I will be of course wearing my back brace and in my wheelchair through the airport, something I’ve never done before.

That said, it’s such an incredible thing for me to travel to another country for something academic and be honored with an invite to it. I’m planning to make the most of my writing time, as well as seeing the beauty of Athens and spending some much needed relaxation time with Ali. So off I go and I’ll catch you all in Greece!

Two down, Two to go

Students are currently in two stages of panic at the moment, either panicing about coursework or panicing about exams. One or the other, I’m currently part of the coursework group, the pressure is on but I now have 2 down and two to go! Creative Writing is done,dusted finished. I have to put in a hard copy to the office but the main online submission is done now and I never have to submit anything creative ever again.

I have been stressing out a lot over my assignments and I know I shouldn’t. I’ve had 90% of the assignments done for about a month now but it’s just the final part. I start to think too much, Is this part good enough? Does this match what they wanted me to do? Who’s going to mark it? Will they like my work? Will I get the grade I want/need? Anxiety is awful at exam/coursework time because I’m someone who cares so much about my work and it just stresses me out constantly.

Despite how I was feeling today I’m feeling a lot more relaxed now. Half are done! Gone! Submitted! Creative Writing is over and now maybe I’ll get back to writing fiction, finally start my book. I can put all my academic energy into English, something that I love (although ask me that again next week, I may not agree!). The next step is to submit my English assignments and then it’s nothing but reading until September 29th, a lot of work though hopefully for the Student Ambassadors.

So, two down and two more to go! Hopefully by this time next week it will all be done!

My first First!

While a lot of people are taking their exams this month and still revising I have had an entirely different problem on my hands, trying to forget that I’m getting results back this month (and apparently next month too). For the Creative Writing and English Literature students out work was handed in mostly before Christmas and now we’re waiting to see if we passed. I checked my email this morning to find one from my seminar leader, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I have gotten 71%, a first!! If I’m honest with you I sat and had a little laugh to myself, it’s not secret that I don’t enjoy Creative Writing nearly as much as I do English. Needless to say I was in a pretty good mood today, even though it has brought on a few worries about how my English Literature assignment will come back! I celebrated tonight with some pizza with a few Creative Writing friends, Jess, Bekkie, Ollie and Rhys we even got a free book in our lecture this evening! So all in all it was a pretty good day.

 

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My beautiful photography skills everyone! 

 

So there you have it, first year may not ‘count’ but getting a first in something (even if it’s  something your not keen on) is an amazing feeling, maybe getting one in first year makes it even better! I worked really that assignment and it seems to have paid off. It’s not because I didn’t go out, I did just not in the traditional way. I’m hoping I can keep this up, although I’m not 100% sure my other assignments will come back this good. The fact that it was something I didn’t enjoy makes it better, I feel like I’m definitely a writer if I can write like that when I’m a tad miserable! So I’m going goff to bed now smiling and with my fingers crossed that it all continues.

I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree…

It’s taken 4 weeks of my degree to decide that, just like music, I cannot study creative writing. I was so desperate to fall in love with my course and feel like I’m enhancing my abilities but I’m so disappointed. I love Kingston, I love the lecturers and they definitely have talent but I’m honestly bored. This week my task is to read all about Villanelles and Sestinas and then write one, yep I bet you’ve never heard of them either. I used to like poetry, reading it, writing it, studying it. I never in a million years thought I would miss it at A Level, but I do. We have to write a poem that has about 6 different rules in regards to structure, rhyme and god knows what else, this is one of my pet hates! I hate it when your restricted. To me poetry or writing in general is a form of expression! I’m not interested in this mathematical madness of line 3 relating to like 12 which must be another way of saying line 6 before repeating line 42.

I’m sighing as I read my assignments list because it just bores me to tears, well one side of it does anyway. I was chatting to some friends about it the other day and in regards to novel writing they think that I’m being too advanced for first year. I’ve started character bios, plot summaries, chapter summaries and writing every day a year ago. I thought that we were expect to come to uni like this but apparently a lot of people have never tried writing anything like this before. If I’m honest the whole thing makes me feel a little awkward. I’m not the best by any stretch of the imagination but at the same time I know what I want to write and where my strengths lie. I don’t fully regret taking Creative Writing, I think I just prefer studying English Literature at the moment. Second year should be a lot more fun and more of what I’m into, I’ve decided to Major in Literature because the modules (well the modules at the moment) just speak to me more and seem more interesting than the Creative Writing ones and the only one I got excited about is a core module anyway.

I don’t want to sound like I’m moaning and I’m hoping that I will enjoy the course more as the year goes on, it just isn’t want I expected it to be. I really just want to write something that matters to me, something that could matter to someone else, I just don’t think a huge poem is going to do the trick!