Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Unblocking the writer's drain, I mean brain

Walking to work this morning, I realised that - for the first time in a very long time - I've written something creative nearly every day for a month.

I used to be a writer, of sorts. Through primary school, high school and university, I wrote poems and stories and essays and speeches and debating notes and plays and all the rest of it. I won the odd prize here and there, I was proud of my talent; and I may very well still the only person at my very sport-centric high school who had their photo displayed in the administration building for achievements that were not sport-related. In the town I come from, that's quite something.

Then I graduated from university and set about having a proper life. And with it came all of the responsibilities and botherations that trouble adults every day, and somewhere along the line, my inspiration dried up.

For years now I've thought longingly about the way I used to be able to sit down and dash something off, or alternately work on it for weeks and months. I remember a series of poems I wrote, and story triptychs, and plays that used to just run out of the end of my pen and onto the page.

I also remembered what my high school English teacher Ms Roki said to me. She said "Be careful. Be mindful. Keep writing. Don't let your passion be left behind in the flotsam and jetsam that washes up on the stony beaches of our lives."

Inevitably though, I did.

Over the years I've wanted to write since then, really really wanted to, but I could never find the time - or the idea - or the style. Everything I created felt torturous, and sounded self-indulgent.

I even started working in communication roles, and something that used to be so fluid and natural to me started becoming my bread and butter. The daily grind.

And so I ground to a halt, and stopped. My writing slept deeply inside me, a dormant creature through a long, bitter winter.

But now, it's as though I can feel the first faint stirrings of spring.

To mix my metaphors even further, and push the analogy just one step too far, I think starting this blog has poured Drano down the sink of me, and dissolved the writer's block.

Last night I sat at the computer for about an hour and a half, and tapped out an 1800-word short story about Podae and the Fatpuss. It came really easily, there was no force involved, and what I wrote felt true to me. That's the first time in a very long time.

So perhaps this blog is starting to do what I hoped it'd do - it's helping me re-centre, or at least find my way forward. The act of writing a little something every day has helped to reconnect me with a past passion - one that used to be what defined me, but instead became my history.

It's also you, the invisible audience, who are directly responsible. Thank you!

Knowing that somewhere, there are people reading my words, is the perfect amount of pressure and expectation to keep me chewing my nails and regularly updating these pages.


a cat of impossible colour said...

Yay! I'm glad.

cheekbones galore said...

Huzzah! I'm so pleased for you.

Now, what town did you grow up in?

Troischats said...

I grew up in Wagga, in NSW - if you ever want to move to a small-minded small town, Wagga would be a good choice.

Vanessa said...

I must say, after being given your blog address by a mutual friend (which I hope you don't mind) it is great to be reading some of your writing again. I miss the creativity you exude with your writing, and although i feel slightly voyeuristic reading about your life via your blog, it is excellent to see your creative juices flowing again!

Troischats said...

Hi Ness, I don't mind at all! I'm just grateful for the interest - it's so nice to know you're enjoying reading this. Please, enjoy being a voyeur - that's what blogs are about in many ways anyway. And you know, if you decide you want to send the address to all your friends, well, by all means. More audience equals more pressure to write equals a happy me! (And many congratulations on your happy news, it's wonderful and I'm very pleased for you!)