This month has been a bit less about fun and a bit more of a deeper, into my own head month than I had originally expected. It started with the thought, what do I actually think is fun? It has ended with the thought, do I have fun or do I just like thought provoking things?
Yesterday, as part of our local literature festival, I went to a writers panel where they talked about women (characters) in crime literature. Although, they didn’t even come close to sticking with the topic, it was still a genuinely interesting talk. I think it worked very well because it was in such an intimate space and there could not have been more than about 100 people in the audience. That was genuinely lovely. But, more interestingly, they were talking about their writing styles. The one poor bloke on a panel with two other women, hosted by a woman, talked about his writing style. He explained he wrote scenes irrespective of the chapters, but wrote them how he saw them in his head. I found that interesting because whenever I try (and fail) at writing a novel, that is how I write. They all talked about these characters in their head demanding that their story be written. I don’t seem to have that. When I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, she talked about ideas just grabbing you and if you don’t grab back, then the idea goes off to find someone else. Here’s my thing. I have neither of these happening to me, but I have always, and quite desperately, wanted to be a writer. So, with no ideas and no strong characters in my head, what do I do? What if I can’t be a writer? That is a thought that has gripped me at the moment. I don’t have a lot of time or space in my day to be creative because I have a full-time job which allows me such wondrously glamorous experiences as eating. But, I always wanted to find space to be creative – specifically to take gorgeous photos and write books. What if I can’t be creative enough to write? This thought actually scares me because it is all I have wanted to do since I was a little girl. If I can’t, then there goes November.
After that little crisis, today dawned and it all felt a little tiring. Still lots going on at work, but also I realised today that we are hitting the end of the month and of the things I was meant to do, well, if I can get to the garden centre tomorrow then I can buy my Buddha and some plants. But I probably won’t get hiking done, nor will I get writing in a coffee shop done. And that last one is what really worried me, because if I loved doing it, I surely would have made it a priority. And I haven’t gotten up to the Moors, which does make me sad, but maybe over Easter I can. Still, I did do a fair amount on my list including spending this evening reading on the couch tucked up with my blanket and I walked around town a few times today and just enjoyed the sun. This has led me to the question, does the activity really matter as long as it clears your head? And more importantly, is it fun if it is about clearing head space or is thought provoking?
I am still a long way off truly understanding myself and what makes me tick. Some things I thought I would love, I hated and some things I do on a whim and just love. But, I think ultimately, when I look deep down, I truly believe life is a journey, an individual journey. We can take people along some of the way with us, but ultimately we walk it alone, even if we are married or have a partner or kids. We spend our life getting to know ourselves so having it all figured out right now is impossible, and I was stupid to believe I could have it all perfectly together. I can’t be at the end of the journey when it is only the middle. And for me, that may be the ultimate lesson of this month.