The Psychology Thread

I have a broad range of interests. It used to bother me that I didn’t have time for them all and that I couldn’t settle on one for long. I discussed this in ‘Too Many Interests’. However, I’ve recently noticed that the ones I’ve stuck with have something in common: they have a strong psychological element.

At Crossfit, I often reflect on the thoughts behind a workout, the things we tell ourselves, the way we interact with each other, and the inextricable link between the physical and psychological parts of our being.

The musical side of band-conducting and one-to-one teaching is key (pun not intended!), and yet I’m probably more drawn-in by the Continue reading

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Wrestling with Stories and Tissues

Tuesday 21.11.17

Things are difficult. I’ve fallen into the working week with less than my usual energy (which isn’t great at the best of times) and I’m coming down with a cold. Crossfit was out of the question today. Let’s focus on survival!

I had a great couple of days of brass-banding; conducting my Beginners to third place in the North Wales Competition, coming first with Seniors, and helping to support our local library with Intermediates on Sunday afternoon. Much as I loved it, it was draining to have a full-on weekend.

I’m lying in bed in my pyjamas, sipping coffee, and typing my assignment story; a story that is talking away at me constantly. Sometimes it’s in a good mood and gives me tingles up my back. Other times it yells and nags and complains Continue reading

Stop Being So Certain!

I’m tempted to trust people who don’t claim to know it all. I’m not encouraging people to be vague, or lack confidence, or sit on the fence, but isn’t there sometimes wisdom in uncertainty? How many creative activities and social issues are less certain than people pretend?

I’ve been reading a book called On Writing by A.L. Kennedy, which contains blogs and articles. One of the things that has struck me, aside from her often dark humour about the writing/publishing world, is her reluctance to tell young writers what to do. She does give advice, and is perfectly qualified to do so, but she seems to encourage distrust of her advice and everyone else’s. She suggests. It’s beautifully refreshing.

I love reading ‘how-to-write’ books. I have discovered several that have been incredibly helpful to me as a developing writer, and yet some make me nervous: the ones that lay down the law. They are professional, well-conceived, ‘true’ (or at least contain plausible information), heavily researched, backed by ‘names’ and titles and degrees…They scare the life out of me because they contain more than a sprinkling of ‘my way or the highway’. Last time I checked, Continue reading

Opposite Statements Can Be Equally True

I was standing in the community centre kitchen on Sunday morning. There were already five people squeezed into the small space; I pressed myself into the alcove by the door, keeping an eye out for whether my help was required.

Two proverbs came to mind:

‘Many hands make light work.’

‘Too many cooks spoil the broth.’

I smiled as I considered the apparent contradictions between these statements. Continue reading

The Wrong Amount of Time for Writing

When there are exciting things to write about, I don’t have time. When there is time, I don’t have much to write about. It’s quite a dilemma!

My brother, who has recently started a daily journal, has found this too. The other morning, he was sitting in bed and trying to scribble down everything that had happened the day before, which had been too busy for him to journal. I often have to catch up like that.

Many great stories or ideas come from the busiest parts of life. It pains me to experience so many stories, people, comments, sights, and events, and not be able to capture them on paper. A non-writer might encourage me to ‘live in the moment’, rather than trying to write it all down, but that doesn’t consider the fact that, for me, writing plays a huge part Continue reading

Music Doesn’t Inspire Me to Write

I recently talked to somebody about my musical experiences and then, presented as a completely different aspect of my life, discussed my relationship with Creative Writing. I realised something: I rarely write about music.

I am near the end of an Open University degree: ‘Humanities with Music and Creative Writing’. My two favourite subjects are sitting side by side, and yet even there they are separate.

It seems strange that music, which is a huge part of my life, should rarely make it into my writing. I love conducting, teaching music, playing trombone, music theory, singing, playing in band… I hear so many stories, witness so many hilarious events, and know that many of them would make a thrilling read! I just don’t often write them down, apart from in my journal, and occasionally in a Facebook status. Continue reading