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

Embrace your Creative Name

What people call you makes a huge difference. And what you call yourself is just as significant, if not more so. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard the phrase ‘aspiring writer’ – people use the phrase about other people and about themselves, and the more I think about it, the more I’m confused about why we say it, and what it means. Surely you can only be an ‘aspiring writer’ if you would like to write, but haven’t begun to do so. I would argue that someone who loves writing and gravitates towards it should stop putting themselves down with the phrase.

You can aspire to be a better writer, a published writer, a popular writer, a critically-acclaimed writer, or a bestselling writer. But that is not the first step. Surely being a writer is fundamentally ‘someone who writes’ and ideally does it on a regular basis, let’s say, slightly more than is strictly necessary, and because they enjoy it. Continue reading

Community Café

I sometimes have an irrational feeling of anxiety when I walk into a café, not knowing how busy it will be or how I’ll be received. I went to my local café a few days ago, having not been for months, and never regularly.

I had barely stepped inside today when the lady behind the counter smiled and said, ‘Latte?’

‘Oh, umm…Yes, thank you!’

The café was empty, apart from three older people, and I took the sofa seat by the window. The sun had returned.

The café lady caught my eye and said, ‘Scrambled egg?’ Continue reading

The Mad Mood Swings of Essay-Writing

There seems to be a pattern to essay-writing. My subconscious predicts the expected time of completion, rather like a computer update. As with computer updates, the prospects sometimes change quickly and can result in weird mood swings.

The essays are about 2000 words, but it is a struggle to even get the main points identified. My fingers can’t seem to work, my brain stops processing properly, and I try to hold back tears. It’s looking bad:

‘Essay: 2% complete – 18hrs 10mins remaining.’ Continue reading