“Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten”
~ Natasha Bedingfield
I have been writing this blog for 13 plus years now and I often feel like I have only just started when it comes to what I want to say. So much is unwritten and time marches on. A bit like reading, there are so many books I want to read and a whole lifetime is never going to be enough to read them all. I fear writing is the same.
There are the books in me. The stories that I want to tell but for reasons, often undefinable, I struggle to get them from my brain onto a screen. They are ideas, characters, a thought here and there but they need more, they need fleshing out, they need a beginning, middle and of course the all important end and I all I have right now is the man in the church watching the woman he loves marrying someone else, or the women in her 40’s going to University and discovering that one of her tutors is someone she once knew at school. There is the abandoned cottage and the new resident who comes and fixes the family next door and then leaves as silently and suddenly as she arrived. The woman who meets a man and instantly knows she will end up with him in some way. The older ladies who pen a letter to their love child.
(Please don’t steal any of these ideas. I feel silly sharing them because it wouldn’t be the first time someone took an idea of mine and sold it on as their own. I should learn and keep them to myself but here we are)
There are others. Some just a single moment or a thread and others where the characters have names; Avalon, Jessop, Axel, Daisy, Freddy, Bonny.
There is even one with a couple of chapters already written.
But mostly they remain unwritten
And sometimes I am absolutely OK with that. Sometimes I think I was only ever meant to write short stories. That is where my strength lays and I should be happy with that and I am. Hence 13 years of this site, stories aplenty from 100 words to 3000. I have been published in a few anthologies and am a regular on Girl on the Net’s Audio porn project. I am good at this shit. I am a good writer.
But sometimes I so frustrated with myself.
One, because I can’t seem to get all that work to turn into some sort of revenue stream. I keep thinking about starting a Patreon or membership newsletter but then my imposter brain says, ‘no one is gonna pay to read this stuff’. I am confident here in what I have created and what I continue to create on my blog but beyond that. I feel lost and hopeless. There are days when I think seriously about chucking it all in and going back to being a cleaner.
Two, even without making a income stream I am frustrated that I can’t seem to turn my writing from short form to long. I can’t even seem to manage a novella let along pen a full length book. I should be able to do this. I feel like I could and yet it continues to elude me.
And finally there are the things unwritten that I can’t write. Of the pain and cruelty. Of the lies and deception. Of the manipulation and drama. Of how fucking angry it makes me.
Whole topics like non-monogamy that I would have worked through here in the past but I can’t any more because it’s got weird and complicated I know it would not go down well.
Maybe I am not meant to write a book, maybe my craft is short stories. Maybe I am OK with that and maybe I am not. Maybe I will write the things that burn inside me but I feel compelled to keep quiet about and maybe I won’t.
What I do know is that the words still come and I still write and every day a little less is unwritten and little more is penned and then something happens and the unwritten stuff grows again. It is a constant cycle; an ebb and flow but that desire to write, that never seems to go away.
“Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you cannot find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions”
I love this post. Why? Because it takes that prompt in a totally different way than how I responded to it. Let’s see if I can get my disorganized, procrastinating butt to write mine.