Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Writing again

It has taken me 4 days to get to this point. We have not posted a blog for longer than that, I know, but we have had valid excuses. Moving, was one. No internet ,was the other. For the last 4 days the reason has been Fear of Writing.

Its a strange thing. A little like a fear of flying. Writing to me is one of my most pleasurable activities. The odd thing is, mostly, I avoid it like the plague. I have a writer friend in Cape Town that put it all brilliantly (she is a brilliant writer). Without quoting her exact words, what she wrote is along the lines that she, a lover of writing, on the whole, has to con herself to do it. She pretends to be merely scribbling some thoughts down, when actually writing her first draft. She has to unplug the phone, otherwise she will HAVE to speak to a dozen needy friends. I know exactly what she means.

I promised myself and my husband that I would write today. Since then a cup of coffee was essential, three hours with friends was necessary, homemade pizzas for lunch was a promise that had to be kept, a swept carpet could not wait, and a conversation with my husband was the desire of my heart.

I was tempted to sit down at the laptop by two sweeties left next to it by a subversive husband. I have eaten one whilst I opened the lid and got connected. The other awaits my completed blog. I have to bribe myself.

This new flat ( we call it an 'apartment') because of the divine high ceilings and the long carpeted passage, has a snug little corner for me to write in. I have a blue table, its surface covered by my assortment of moleskines, journals and large A4 books full of my scribblings. I sit on a tapestry covered chair, and have a rose bowl close at hand with a single fragrant red rose beside me. L picked it specially for me from our new garden. My children are in Jethros room at the bottom of the passage. I have become an ardent fan of passages. No more open plan for me. The row of doors is wonderful, with each one in their place and space.

And yet with all this, getting down to the business of writing is still almost an impossibility some days. I wrote a rather bad book in England years ago, and the only way I got down to it was to say goodbye to my ex husband in the morning, lock the door, draw the curtains on the bleak landscape, turn up the heating and stay in my pajamas. I never combed my hair or washed my face, forcing myself to skulk indoors in silence it anyone knocked on my door. At about 12 I would arouse myself from my musings and have a brisk shower. In order to write I had to keep myself prisoner.

I am attempting to write a book again, wading my way through my first draft, pulling ideas from somewhere inside my head. When I do it, generally, I am alone in the house, it is totally silent, and I am grumpy. I hate any disturbance whilst finally engaged with the task at hand, and I have felt my mind do its shift to the blissful creative space. Writing is elation.

Maybe it is my built in aversion to anything addictive, steering my ship to avoid anything in my life that might take me captive. Writing, I know, is that powerful. I could find myself in some rotting house by the sea, all alone, hammering away on a keyboard, and dodging people.

Not really, but it would not be that bad. Right now I live opposite the school, dividing my time between family, drama and the koshuis kitchen. Ofcause I will find the space and place to write, because, although I am generally on the run, the urge overtakes me, like now.
Time for that sweetie!


  1. Glad you guys are back in the type seat. Wunderbar...

  2. So good to dive in to more of your delicious musings ...

  3. I have missed your delightful blogs. I check almost daily to see if you have written again. Today I was pleasantly surprised. Cath