The Optimist and Bambi

Writing about Alice’s visit to Sweden yesterday, highlighted one of my weaknesses as a writer – I assume the reader can see and hear everything I can. Reading back the first part, when Alice is sitting outside her mother’s childhood home in the summer evening, I realised I had described the wooden decking and the sun blind, even the dewy grass and how it felt against her feet, along with the air carrying a scent of pine forest. I also managed to put in the tree lined horizon and vast fields, but the rest was just in my head. The colour of the house, the mountain behind it, the little lake I plan to put nearby too. I also failed to describe in more detail what those fields look like, what sort of fields they are (beyond the same deer coming out on one of them to graze every evening), what’s at the end of them, what else does the garden look like, all the apple trees….

But I suppose this is how it will be right until Alice is print ready – endless crafting of her environment, her conversations, what she looks like, etc. I find it tricky to capture all the detail I need to convey the true image to somebody who hasn’t seen it the way I have. Hah! Maybe I should make a picture book, that’s solve one or two problems. 

Yesterday was fantastic. I did my morning pages, wrote two articles for WMW, and just short of 3,000 words for Alice. Thank God I managed to kill my Writer’s Block, that was my biggest worry. Now, “all” I need to do is keep up motivation and keep on submitting articles anywhere I can in order to get my writing out there as much as possible. Easy-peasy, right? 

OK, I’m not completely deluded. I do realise that this will require focus like I’ve never focused before, and I need to keep a blow torch at my motivation, which will no doubt take several hits (along with my ego) when the rejection letters start to rain on me. I’d like to think there’ll just be some minor speed bumps before Alice comes through, but despite being sickeningly positive and enthusiastic, deep inside me there also lives a realist. Even a pessimist, sometimes. It’s hard to do, when you believe in something this strongly, but I do try to rein myself in a little. Truth be told, I often visualise all the great reviews. Oh, and the film deals. 

One of yesterday’s articles on WMW was about sleepwalking. I actually wrote a version of it back in May, but reworked it and chucked it on there, given I’d got to thinking about my crazy night behaviour when writing my morning pages. The other article was about a lady I ended up nicknaming Rose, and it was hard to share but felt quite cathartic. Her death messed me up in many ways, and I’ve found it very difficult to make my peace with what happened. So completely needless, if only… As with my article, I don’t want to go into detail, as even though I haven’t shared this blog with anyone beyond the ladies of WMW (and to be fair, I doubt many people would find my morning brain dumps interesting anyway so would be mightily surprised if any of them visited this blog with any regularity, or at ALL – I only shared it as a writing tool to kill off Writer’s Block, given it has worked for me), if this should at any point in the future get associated with me, my real name, etc, I don’t want anyone to feel I’ve put them out there for the world to see. 

Not sure what to write about today when it comes to WMW. I don’t like to write for “the sake of it”, except of course these morning pages which are exactly about that. For any other purpose, I just wait until I have something to say. 

Hoping today will be as good as yesterday. At that speed, I’ll have a dissertation’s worth by Friday. Really looking forward to the session with R. Frustratingly, we had to delay by a week as R ended up stranded in a broken down car last Friday, but I think with her it’ll be a case of good things come to those who wait. Of course I realise that she’s not here to do my work for me, but I need a bit of navigation assistance, challenging questions, someone to hold me accountable. 

This is the problem with me, see – I’m ever the optimist and proclaim A ZILLION WORDS BY THIS AFTERNOON. Then this afternoon comes….. and… ..I’ll-do-it-tomorrow. I’m not going to get mad at me, am I? B has been wonderful, offering incredible support on every level, but it wouldn’t be fair to expect him to be my whip. R did say it usually doesn’t work when you’re emotionally invested and I can see why – if I haven’t produced enough to feel good about my day’s work, B asking if I got it all done just gets my heckles up. Childish and ridiculous, but that’s how I seem to roll. 

So a bit of external help will come in very handy, as I’m sure there’ll come points when Alice will frustrate me, piss me off, even bore me. But hey – all gambled, half won. As we say in Sweden. And it makes no fucking sense in English. If you dare all, it’s half a victory in itself. Nah, still sounds shit. I’m sure there’s an equivalent but I can’t think of it now.


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