Working Title

I often struggle to get going with a blog post, it’s beyond frustrating. I enjoy writing and I’ve got plenty say, I just find the initial start up difficult. It’s like having a blocked nose but not being able to blow it. Nice visual right? Sorry.

It’s not just blog posts; I’m actually keen on putting a book together. I’ve been keeping diaries since the early 2000’s and I’ve planned on using them to write a memoir for a long time. The problem is, I just can’t seem to get my butt in gear.

A few years ago I started a re-write. It consisted of me reading a paragraph then writing it down by hand with a little edit. I thought it was doable – that going through them like that would be a good way to get started and that I’d also maybe gain something from it mentally. It was to be ‘therapeutic’ and I’d be able to reflect on things that had impacted on my life in some way.

I was wrong. It was not a good idea. Going through my umpteen diaries by hand?? What was I going to do with them once I had twice the amount of books? It sounds ridiculous… it was ridiculous. Especially the fact that I was doing it by hand and not using my MacBook but to be fair to myself, I was young, living in the YMCA and riddled with anxiety. Mostly I had wanted to rewrite them because I thought the original handwriting wasn’t neat enough, the diaries were (are) covered in doodles and littered with embarrassing things that cause your core muscles to cringe. My Obsessive Compulsive Disorder was at its worst and back then it would often cloud my mind like a thick fog of illogical logic.

So what happened? I stopped rewriting them of course, and the books went back on the shelves. I left the YMCA, moved a few towns over, withdrew from antidepressants, battled my way through university and completed a course of mind-altering psychotherapy.

These days I’m a (mostly) calm and stable adult, settled in my cosy home with my also (mostly) calm and stable boyfriend. My umpteen diaries (and one very neatly written second edition) are stored away in the impressively organised box-filled shed situated in the corner of our garden.

I think about them often and still plan on turning them in to a book of some sort. They are filled with stories of love, loss, laughter and confusion… real stories of teenage (and adult) drama, drugs and depression.

The thing is, just thinking about it is no longer good enough and I absolutely have to get started on this project. Which is why I booked myself onto a one-day writing course ‘Get that novel out of you’.

It was a real push in the right direction. I wrote a plot, a first page and a closing chapter, but most importantly, I now know that it’s doable. I know that I have the potential and all I need is the time and the passion to produce something. It could take 12 weeks, it could take 12 months but as long as I have something in the near future, I’ll be pleased.

That’s one of the things I got from the class – my fellow delegates were mostly middle-aged women looking at retirement and wanting to start ‘finally’ writing. I don’t want to be one of those people.

My aim isn’t to be a published writer; it’s simply to write a book. And this time I’ll make use of my dictation software.

Oh hey, look I wrote a blog post (!)

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Author: Rachel

Communications Exec by day, TV show addict by night. Fighting #LymeDisease 24/7. Postgraduate student at Brunel University, writing my way to a Master's degree in Creative Writing.

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