Quite frankly, I’m knackered. I’ve put off blogging so much because not only have I been working all hours, (apparently, everyone needs wine. A lot), but I’ve been trying to do something that actually makes me feel alive. The good news is, I’ve succeeded.
The blog I wrote about Jamie last week is still playing on my mind, but I have to say that actually its presence in my thoughts has been on the whole quite a positive thing. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still horrified at such a waste of life at a young age and not wanting to contemplate the unimaginable pain his family must be going through, but I’m also proud that actually, his life was anything but a waste: in my last blog, I urged you to stop moaning and to “go away and volunteer somewhere, climb a mountain, write a book, ride a camel, teach English in China, do the Hokey Cokey, knit something – whatever, just seize the day with both hands and don’t let it go until you’ve squeezed something good out of it.“ So far, one of my friends has gone to teach English in China (you can read his blog here), one is about to go and ride a camel in Morocco, and I have started to write a book. In other words, we’ve remembered that we’re alive and started living. We have Jamie to thank for that.
The writing thing is going pretty well. I’ve actually started two novels, and while both of which may well be unpublishable, I have finally managed to break through writing how I think people want me to and start writing how I want me to (I suspect I have Jamie to thank for that a bit, too).
I’ve also broken out of my comfort zone in more ways than one – rather than hiding in my ever-so comfy room with its constant supply of tea, abundance of warm snuggly socks, and easy access to Kinder Happy Hippos (there really should be a whole chapter on how these aid the writing process in the Writers and Artists Yearbook), I’ve started venturing out in the big wide world.
I’ve been writing under a tree, by a duckpond, even in my car. There’s something fantastically empowering about being somewhere new, quiet, maybe even a bit risky (those ducks looked menacing), and generally without Happy Hippos to distract my wandering hands. I also think writing in a notepad has helped me feel a bit more like a writer, instead of just a typist with high hopes. All in all, I’m pretty bloody excited, and I feel for the first time in months that I am going day to day with some real purpose. More on this to follow, I hope.
Quite frankly, however, writing a novel is irrelevant and selfish as a ‘making yourself feel alive’ task in comparison to other things you could do to make yourself feel you’ve done something worthwhile with today. Everyone has heard about the inconceivable devastation caused by the flooding in Pakistan this week, and Save The Children have recently announced the first outbreaks of Cholera. A spokeswoman for the charity told BBC News today that deaths have been recorded from starvation, and that children were dying from diarrhoea within just 24 hours because they didn’t have medical aid. This is 2010, guys. It simply shouldn’t be happening. The governments of the world need to step up to the plate and dig deep to help these innocent people out of this disaster, but until they do it is ordinary people like you and I that can make a difference. The Disasters Emergency Committee have set up the easiest donation form ever – if you try it out, you can reward yourself with a Happy Hippo and everything.
Image taken from the aptly named freakapotimus‘ photostream.