The more I improve my writing these days, the harder I find it to blog. Often when I sit at my desk to write something, I no longer imagine words on a page, but consider how they would come across presented as a piece of art instead. By no means am I suggesting I achieve this, but that’s what goes through my head. I imagine they are not words going onto a page; they are words going into a frame. Pinpointing quite a precise moment or emotion. It’s rare for me to sit and type raw, unedited words, and I fear I might be losing some sort of skill for it. For a while I’ve been focussing on how I can adapt this blog into more of a portfolio styled site, which means I’ve been having to consider how everything is presented. Throw that in with my increased production of fiction and poetry recently, and you have writing that is purely fuelled on imagination. So when it comes to facing a realistic piece, forgive me, but I crumble a little.
Generally I am very relaxed about blogging. I don’t put pressure of an upload schedule on myself and I don’t allow the statistics to curate what I publish. I allow myself to write honestly about whatever springs to mind. My blog, in this sense, is just a large journal I keep that gathers all the random thoughts I generate. One day they may lead to new ideas or they can serve as a diary to store my memories. Either way, I realised I didn’t want to lose that element by creating a purely portfolio-esque site. This blog has been a great source of comfort to me for almost four years now! I know some friends and strangers also like to come here every so often for that reason too.
When I haven’t visited in a while, I will make the extra effort to put a post together. I make a coffee and I sit and I try to think of something wonderfully natural to say. A lot of my writing, although admittedly is inspired by things that happen in my life, is completely romanticised versions of events. Situations I have dreamed up. Can daydreaming be a habit? Sometimes when I make a coffee and I sit and I try to think of something wonderfully natural to say my mind will float away. I’ll catch myself reliving a day from long ago, in a daydream, and wondering whether that day played any part to me sitting around now unable to write.
Then I look at the clock; hours can go by without anything happening. In three hours I have made more cups of coffee than words.
At times it becomes frustrating to only be able to daydream. Bruce* and I talked through it while I was struggling to write this post, and I thought he summarised it better than I could! We discussed how there is always an end goal in mind. Something you feel the need to express. But it’s not necessarily a thing you entirely comprehend, so getting there becomes an experiment. Results varying. His point however, was that no matter what result you end up with, you are a step closer to understanding that thing you couldn’t comprehend before. Meaning our minds ultimately create in order to understand ourselves better.
A lot of what Bruce said made sense to me. I had been wondering whether the fault lay in my life; because I would feel discontent with reality, would my mind seek escapism in dreaming? I think that’s what frustrates me most: the idea that if I cannot create then I am left with nothing. Life is given to us black and white and we choose what colours to fill it with. That’s where lies the differences between people. Anyone can dream, which is proven by everyone, but some people stop at dreaming. And some try to bridge the gap between reality and dreaming. Learning more and more all the way.
I didn’t want to write this post as a way of moaning about my life. Despite how it sounds, I am very happy with life and who I am, for the most part. And I love to daydream. I feel complimented by my imagination.
In fact when I started writing this post I imagined it going in a different way entirely. I had been experiencing the feeling of frustration I’ve talked about above. There was a series of days where I didn’t feel able to pull my head out of the clouds at all. Even though I was having a rush of ideas there was no way I could translate them to paper. To distract myself, instead of writing I pressed some flowers and hung them in a frame with a note a friend gave me a few months ago. It’s a note I’ve tried to photograph discreetly because I’m slightly protective over it! It means a lot to me because it reminds me to keep doing what I love to do, regardless of the reason. I have also uploaded a blog post with a little description of how it was made: Making a pressed flower frame.
As I was becoming increasingly frustrated with myself for not being able to write, and my mind was asking why I was finding it difficult to be content with life, I was drawn to the words hanging on my wall. Very real words. Taken from a very real day when we strolled in the sun and didn’t care about anything more than what was in front of us. Deep down I know the writing will come; the idea will present itself in some form. I have to remember that part of the process is to go out and find it. Sometimes all we need to create is a beautiful day. A beautiful memory…
… that turned into words, that turned into something I hung on my wall as art. And I come full circle again.
*Bruce is Matthew Bruce, a photographer, and as his words really helped with this article I thought it only fair to mention how bloody brilliant he is. You can see for yourself here: Instagram @matt.bruce.p and here: https://www.matthewpaulbruce.com/