The past three months I since I started this blog I have been pretending to be a writer. With no discernible other job, my days have been filled with speaking to various people to inform my posts, researching ideas and searching the Island for inspiration.
Many people have asked why I started my blog and for me it is ultimately a creative outlet. A chance to create my own online mini-magazine with articles on subjects I could hand pick and showcase them on a website where I had complete creative authority.
Readership was always secondary. Essential, but secondary - after all you can’t be a writer if no one is reading can you? I had no expectations to make money from my blog and I am not enough of a dreamer to imagine that it could turn into a career for me. It was, and remains, a form of self examination that has taken me and my readers on a journey to find those things that I love and to embrace them.
As I write I am sat overlooking La Rocque beach, the sunshine beaming through the window so you would never quite realise that is was a brisk cold March morn and imagining that this is what is must feel like to be writer. I am reading my book, which was a gift, on how to become a better writer and feeling cleverer by the minute! I am reminded of the joy or learning and how satisfying it is to gain a new skill and wonder exactly when it was that I subconsciously stopped learning?
At University I loved attending my lectures. I could sit for hours soaking up the examination of English Literature, Art History, Film Studies, Philosophy…the list would continue if not for the lure of student life and monster hangovers. To me it was all brain food and I genuinely thought I could be an eternal student and just continue to absorb all that the world could offer. It’s only through having this career break now that I realise how little learning I have been doing and I wonder what happened to that lust, that thirst for knowledge?
With having children you seem to lose the time and the ability to pick up and lose yourself in a book - I cant even remember the last time I read a book although my bookshelf continues to hoard all those I promise myself I will find time for! As work becomes a more absorbing part of your day, you realise that your downtime now consists of aimlessly surfing the internet with no intention or direction or watching mind numbing television, because sometimes at the end of a day you just want to be numbed.
These last few months have involved a lot of soul searching and self improvement. I have read books (the old kind with actual pages!); completed on-line courses on web design; practised meditation, continued painfully to try to learn to box and studied the art that is taking the perfect selfie. Ok, so I’m not sure just how life enriching that last one is!
It's been very invigorating, like waking up from a long sleep, and now as I look to return to working life tomorrow (back to finance albeit on a temporary basis), the worry is that I wont be able to keep up this momentum alongside a full time job. The other worry is that I may run out of things to say!! So to become a better writer I must promise to continue to push myself, to learn and experience new things and to keep on picking up a book. But most importantly I have to learn to be freer with my thoughts and not be too precious with how I express them. JUST WRITE AND WRITE AND WRITE.
Because it's like any new skill you're trying to learn, you can only hope to get better through practise. Hopefully by the time I've finished pretending I may just have become a writer.
Enrich your life and learn something new:
- Take an online course on a subject of your choice. Udemy have a range on practically any subject at very reasonable prices.
- Read a book, or even better join in book discussions at the Jersey Library every Wednesday.
One concern at the back of my mind when I started my blog journey was that I would run out of ideas and things to say. 10 posts later and I’m happy to say that I have a long list of topics in my notebook. To become a better writer I have to continue to learn, push myself and write, write, write. Turns out I’ve been pretending for so long that I just may have become one.