I was going to blog about family today. I was going to talk about working your writing around your children, your career and your home life in pursuit of one day being able to call yourself an actual writer and not a pretender or a hobbyist, but I’m not going to do that. Not today, at least, because there is only one thing in my life today that I can bring myself to even consider writing about, and that is just getting your head down and writing when you feel like you really don’t want to.
Right now, as I write this, I’m at work. It’s lunch time, I have a sweet potato and some chicken, and I want to throw them across the room. Things are not going my way, people are asking me questions and not listening to the answers, I feel thoroughly trapped and that is ALL that is stopping me from trashing my desk and walking out.
I am looking at the stats for my blog and realising that those closest to me, with a handful of exceptions, are singularly uninterested in reading anything that I’ve written. They don’t take the time to read the blog, to take an interest in my writing, my hopes, my dreams or my interests. They didn’t say anything when I got published for the first time, don’t respond to any mentions of my recent advances or successes, don’t voice any form of support at any time and are in no way helping me to achieve my dreams of being a writer, full time or otherwise.
Is this a tantrum? Nope. This isn’t me trying to get any help or attention because, as I’ve already said, I KNOW those people won’t ever read this, only those who do support me will, plus the randoms from the internet who happen upon my blog by whatever means.
To those fine people, thank you. I really do appreciate everything you’ve done, the small gestures of love and support and believe me, those are invaluable to me, but this isn’t why I’m writing this. I’m writing this to say that there will be days when you want to smash things, throw things, scream a massive “fuck you” into the face of those that are making things harder for you, and on those days you may well not want to write. Maybe someone’s upset you or you’ve had bad news, maybe you’re just not in the mood, whatever. Write.
Maybe you can’t bring yourself to write what you’ve started? Fine. Write something else. Maybe you’re too mind-bogglingly happy to write about the harrowing sex-crime that you’re in the middle of detailing. Fine, go write about fluffy bunnies. Maybe you’re too pissed off to tell the world about how Cotton-balls and Mr Plim are having such jolly japes at the Wiggly-Piggle Circus. Fine! Write about feeding Piers Morgan into a bacon slicer. Just WRITE.
Writing is freedom. It’s also captivity. If you want to do it and be successful at it, by whatever measure of success you are applying to yourself, you have to just keep on doing it. Don’t spend your life reading lists of spurious facts that will make you a success, just go out like anything else in life you want and fucking GRAB IT. Bleed for it, live for it, do it because it is what you have to do. Pour your heart, blood, sweat, tears, fury and sadness into it. Nurture and love it while you curse it and wish it would die. A real story that lives and breaths and is honest is a sliver of your soul distilled in prose. You can’t create something so vital and truthful by waiting to write until a day comes along where you feel wonderful and everything is going your way.
If you do, you’ll never, ever fulfil your potential.