Ah people. Sitting here on a blah-grey Saturday afternoon, I am trying hard not to berate myself too much. I’m such an eejit sometimes. I refer of course to the lack of blog posting for the past couple of days or so.
Advice from sage and vastly more experienced writers than myself generally includes the following maxims ‘Write. Write all the time. Write every single day. More than once a day if you feel moved so to do. Don’t let anything distract you from the business of being a writer.’ And so on…
And most of the time I agree, most earnestly, most emphatically. Most of the time. I love writing, I get to spout about stuff that’s bothering me or that fascinates me or that I think needs putting right in the world. Sometimes, I like to just make up fantastic stories (point to note – I have learned that it’s a good idea when doing this to be exceptionally, critically and crystal clear about this point, when you *make something up* otherwise people can get a tad upset… ). I am actually quite good at that, I think.
Most of the time this is true. Just occasionally I would call the wisdom into question.
I am, like so many other people – writers, artists, singers, actors, dancers, bon vivants and generally creative types as well as a myriad of other occupations – prone to bouts of misery, self-debasement and sadness. In short, the black depths of depression are no stranger to me.
There’s often no real cause, no defining moment that kicks everything off. I cannot pin-point when the feelings begin, nor even when they take such a strangling hold upon my psyche. I usually don’t even notice this has happened until I’m in the midst of some dreadful display of petulance (on my part) or other unreasonableness that I would normally find abhorrent. I’ll usually withdraw then, determined that I am so awful that the world would not want to see or hear from me again, at least not for a while. And I get very sleepy. it’s like my body recognises the signs finally and says ‘Shut up, eejit! Go to sleep where you can do no more harm and let everyone just get over it. Stop now. Before you do something really stupid. GO to SLEEP woman!’ and then everything just shuts down.
Sometimes, I try really hard to resist this process. Which, in retrospect is probably not what we’d call ‘Plan A’ if we’re going to keep track of these things. I can on occasion become self-destructive, largely because somewhere in the depths of the dark, twisted passages of what passes for my mind hides the ‘Plan C for Crazy’ creature, a mixture of devilish, scurvy, fantasmagorical faerie and lethargic lounge-lizardette; he/she has no respect for, well anything at all really. Not anything worthwhile at all. It just likes to disrupt and devour and destroy everything. It loves to be out-of-control and will entice me into behaviour that is dubious at best and often, downright dastardly.
So, I have been contemplating the destruction of my Dresden quilt, determining to trash the blog and a million other stupid ideas. Don’t worry … I haven’t destroyed anything. The Hermione in me won this time, channelling my antsy-energies into tidying my studio, cleaning up and then sleeping, exhausted by the bizarre battles raging in my own internal Ethernet. I feel better today. I’ll maybe make something nice for dinner and we’ll all go back to normality. What the hell is THAT anyway?
I don’t want to alienate people who might think that I’m one of those ‘everything is always rosy’ kind of people. Some who know me well will know that I am, on occasion, possibly even quite frequently, utterly impossible to live with. I just wanted to see if the maxim is true -you should write, even when you feel like the most detestable, loathsome creature and have no light in your soul.
Because, actually, the light IS there. She’s a small, incredibly intelligent girl who has her hand up, desperate for you to notice that she has the answers, you just need to call on her for the ultimate wisdom. Welcome back, Hermione!