It’s been a while. A long time since I last wrote. I haven’t dropped off the planet, haven’t stopped writing. But life has been busy, and I’ve found it difficult to find something interesting to write about here.
One of the hard things about writing when you’re a student, a chronic migraine sufferer and a mum with three teens, is that there is only so much time. And when it comes down to it, I do only what I have to so that I still feel like I’m a writer. I write my daily pages, and work on my second manuscript (oh the joy in an unformed thing) and edit my first manuscript (read: beat it into shape).
My friend Nicky Heaney who writes at Mary Beton’s Rooms wrote a great thought-provoking piece about freezing up, and learning how to free the creative part of our brain. It really speaks to the place that I am at with my writing.
This year I have spent sometime working on this ‘word-freeze’ I guess you could call it. I have found that when bad, life-shattering things happen to me, it is like I go five thousand steps backwards in my confidence as a writer and stop taking risks. Instead I sit in front a blank page, or empty screen with a blinking cursor, and fret about any word coming out. Will it be good enough? Is it unique, interesting? Was I really a writer? Ever?
Today I received the greatest compliment that maybe a writer can receive.
Today had been one of those days where just another leaf of grief floated past me as I prepare to say goodbye to Mum and Dad’s holiday house. There was a knock on the door when I was cooking dinner. A local person who I known enough to say hi to in passing stood in front of me. In her hands was an incredible bunch of flowers. My first thought was that she had mixed me up with the other Meg in Kensington (we are often mixed up) and that I would have to tell her that those flowers weren’t for me.
Beware. This is a ‘journey’ post.
Twenty-six days ago I was sitting in my psychologist’s office (not something I would have done, or admitted to a couple of years ago, but now I wonder how people survive without brain dumping on someone who can help you sort out all the brain mess). We were talking self care and how it would be good for me to try to incorporate it into my every day (instead of an extraordinary occasion) with the view to chat about it when we caught up again in 28 days. She was concerned that I had stopped writing, that I had given up on the idea of my words making any sense, and that I wouldn’t allowed myself to look at my manuscript I had saved all the way back in November last month.
So, being a listy kind of person I knew it would start with a list. Continue reading
My life has been some crazy out of control beast for the last year or so. Things have flown at me that I have had no control over, so I have had to stop what I was doing, and deal with it.
This is normal for most of us, especially when we have kids, or older parents. The difficulty I have found is trying to get some balance with what I would like to do (the things that make me sing and dance and just feel generally ace about myself), and getting on with the necessities (caring for people who need me to).
Last Friday I set out for my second Going Solo hike. I headed back out to Werribee Gorge and took the track that I had planned to go on the first week.
It’s a hot day. The sun beats down on my head and as I put one foot in front of the other I’m reminded of hiking with my folks when I was young.
Mum and Dad took us out bushwalking often and sometimes, in fact most times, I would get about five minutes into the bushwalk and think, ‘I’ve had enough. It’s hot. I want to go back. I don’t like this. It’s hard work and I don’t think I can do it. My head’s starting to hurt, my legs are starting to hurt and the flies are annoying me.’ Continue reading
Life has been a little crazy for me over the last twelve months with my mum’s diagnosis of cancer followed closely by her death, and then one of my kids became very ill with a chronic illness. From the moment I finished the latest draft of my manuscript and uni last year, I took up the role as a full time carer.
So when the three kids went off to school this year (all three tackling something new: one into high school, another spending a term away and the third changing schools for his VCE), I sat down to breathe. It was the first time in eleven weeks I had silence around me. It felt like it had been so long I had forgotten what it was that I used to do. This time had chipped away at my confidence as a creator, and I needed to work out how to find my creative spirit again.