Writing > Breathing?

Well, here we are, at job no. 3.

That is, job no. 3 on my To Do List for today. Now I’ve got the dog-walking and Junior Apprentice-watching out of the way (alright, watching Junior Apprentice isn’t exactly a ‘job’ but some of the points on my list have to be fun, right?), I can get around to blogging. And knowing I’ve reached that task on my list feels quite similar to that glorious sensation you get as you slip off the ridiculously impractical new heels you’ve been ‘breaking in’ (yeah, alright, replace ‘breaking’ with ‘hobbling around unattractively’) at work all day: Ah, that’s better. Now I can remember what it feels like to be me again. I’m in my comfort zone.

I’ve realised recently that I genuinely need writing to survive. Alright, maybe I wouldn’t die per se, but when I don’t write I seem to lose the ability to function as a coherent being. I haven’t been blogging as much as I’d like recently: working full time for the first time in three years has required some adjusting, plus as soon as you finish your degree about twelvety zillion friends suddenly appear on your doorstep wanting to drag you out to be irresponsible again – it’s been three weeks of picnics in graveyards, going to see shows full of naked people, and having fireworks displays that get the police involved. In other words, my friends are bloody marvellous.

But, while the past three weeks have been better than the past three years in their entirety, and I’ve laughed so much I’m actually starting to get sick of always feeling so bloody happy, I’ve had little time for putting anything down on paper:

I used to do a To Do List daily, to centre my thoughts so I’d know what I need to achieve each day.
I wrote in my diary every other day so all my emotional junk could be offloaded.
And I blogged or wrote a poem or started an idea for a short story or a piece of dialogue at least three times a week, to keep my creative buzz alive.

Now?

I haven’t done a To Do List since I started back at work.
I’ve managed one diary entry a week.
And I haven’t blogged properly now for almost three weeks (yeah, I don’t think song about ducks/poppies or a poem I wrote a month ago really count.)

SO where exactly are all my thoughts GOING?! Every time I’ve thought about it for the past few days I’ve had a bit of a panic sesh. I feel like a record player with the needle lifted off the record – I’m just spinning round, totally disconnected. It feels like as the days go on without writing, there’s a thread constantly unravelling behind me. I’m totally lost.

But that’s a good thing. It’s made me realise how central to my life writing is. And – hello? I’m a writer. I’d almost stopped believing I was: I was getting so bogged down with work and with the terrifying prospect of beginning the gigantic leap into trying to get someone to pay me for my words that I started to think maybe I was just a bit mental, and I should give up now. But without the writing I felt a little bit like my thoughts were just polluting the air as a byproduct of all the whirring in my brain: writing channels them into something I can make sense of. NOT writing has made me realise how much I NEED to write. Writing takes all my crazy and makes it seem worthwhile.

My aim for my life now is to make sure I set time every day to that little writing high I’ve been missing so much.

Now, I think that’s job no. 3 done on my To Do list for today. I’ll move onto job no. 4: writing in my diary.

It’s a bit cool when things make sense.

Image taken from kiwanja‘s photostream on Flickr

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