I’ve been slightly unwell lately, both in the health and writing department. That’s allowed more time for some reading, and other creative pursuits, but there’s one important thing to remind myself of – my own dislike in reading on a writer’s blog about how they haven’t done any writing, achieved their goals, or done anything productive in writing.
I don’t believe I should be taken particularly seriously in the writing stakes until such time as I have several – not just one or two, published ‘something’s’ (in my case, fiction) under my belt. Nobody wants to read whinging about not writing or advice on writing from somebody who’s not done it. There are hundreds of blogs out there by writers at every stage of their careers, and some are even worth a dedicated read now and again.
Which is why I’ve been quite quiet on this blog the last week. Plenty to read elsewhere, while my own struggles with motivation mean I’m currently learning how health and attitude affect my writing, and also how the lack of it for too long gives me the willies. (For those cackling at the terminology, it stands for ‘the creeps’ rather than a third-grade joke about men’s parts, although the world could do with more childhood humour anyway).
My willies are wet, too. Sydney has had some horribly wet weather over the last week, and although I’m mindful that my home got off safely, it brought about a new finding for me – the discovery of visceral bone-shaking fear. In the form of leeches. Leeches all over the place – one between my toes, one behind my bathroom towel, around the windows and doors, on the third floor balcony, in the garage, many in my nightmares.
Normally the calm and action-hero one in dire domestic situations, I have this last week met my nemesis. Until moving to Australia I had never met a leech before. Now, they all appear to know where I live.
Writing about them takes some of their power away, however (as does sunlight, like any good vampire knows). Citrus and salt work wonders around windowsills too. For the first time in my life, I have purposely killed another living creature (by dunking them into a salt water bath) and stood there watching it shrink up in agony and die. And I’ve smiled doing it.
Experiencing that fear – of having nobody around who could help me get a leech out from between my toes – that also adds a wealth of usable stuff for my writing. Experiencing that need to take back some power, and take revenge – more writing fodder.
Maybe, maybe not, it will help me write well.
Although my skin is still crawling a week later, and I still check everywhere I walk around my house, it all adds to the writer’s life.
What willies have you experienced lately, and how might it add to your own craft?