When the words won’t flow

In which I write about not being able to write.

Since embarking on a new career path I’ve been met with a copious amount of writing time.

At this moment, I’m sitting in a first aid shack somewhere in the backwoods of Northeastern BC, with all the hours of the day to come up with brilliant, wonderful, insightful and thought-provoking words.

You’d think they’d be pouring out. You’d be wrong.

See, I’ve been working on my short story writing in recent months. I’ve got several outlines for some weird-ass pieces and at least two that have first drafts. But trying to get anything else written has been a lesson in futility.

That’s part of the reason I started this blog. I wanted to be able to write a little each day so I didn’t fall off the wagon, as it were. When you go from writing thousands of words a day to maybe a few tweets if you’re lucky, it fucks you up. Ditto for going from using my camera every day to not using it for three months, but that’s a post for another day.

Even finding the words for a weekly rant like I used to do has been difficult. I think it’s mostly because the parameters have been lifted and I could literally write about what ever the hell I want that I can’t find the words beyond 280 characters. I’ve always wanted that freedom and now that I have it I’m at a loss as to what to do with it. Is that irony or just sad?

I’ve been crocheting like my life depended on it, blatantly ignoring the cramping in my hands. Clearly I’ve traded one creative outlet for another.

Screen shot 2018-02-13 at 8.51.19 AM

I had a busy day yesterday.

However, words are my first love; they’ve helped keep my sanity reasonably in check for as long as I can remember. I can’t just not write, even though it’s felt like it recently.

Writers should be avid readers, and I’ve burned through so many books lately just because I have the time to sit down and read the shit out of them.

I’ve got a few short story collections with me at the moment—Neil Gaiman and Stephen King—to try and help with my own short story crafting. I’ve been a creative non-fiction writer for the last decade, so trying to write actual fiction has been daunting. I hate writing dialogue since it always sounds so stunted and fake when I do it, but reading the dialogue written by others always sounds natural.

I’m also terrified at the idea of someone reading these stories. Like I said, it’s not my usual style, so I’m worried I’m total garbage at it and should just stick to my opinion rants. But if I don’t try, I’ll never know if I can do it.

So yeah, that’s my spiel about not being able to write. All 500-some odd words of it.

Guess I can write when I want to.

-A.

Cant-stop-writing

Except when when there’s a ton of time to do so.

 

Let’s talk

Once again it’s the one day of the year that people post messages about the importance of mental health. It’s Bell Let’s Talk Day.

I take part in this mostly because I want to see as much money as possible go to mental health initiatives in Canada. But I also take part because I have mental illnesses.

I have long suffered from depression and generalized anxiety disorder. It took me many years to admit it to myself since I’d always viewed it as a weakness… going on meds was something “other” people did. I wasn’t like them, I was stronger than that.

But I wasn’t.

When the bad thoughts are running through your mind and people around you don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, it wears you down. It’s like being trapped in a maze and you can’t find your way out… you’re just going in circles and finding the same dead ends.

Thankfully, I found my way out. It didn’t happen overnight, and there were a few stumbles along the way, but it did happen.

My experience isn’t everyone else’s, some may have a harder time getting through, while others find the path with little trouble. Never think your own experience isn’t valid because others seem to be having a harder time.

If you need to take medication, take it. It you need a personal day, take it. If you need a walk, take it. Whatever keeps you going, do it.

Don’t be afraid to talk.

-A.

Oprah for president?

If you didn’t watch the Golden Globes last night, you may have missed the future president of the United States making a speech.

Here, give it a watch, I’ll wait.

After that glorious speech, many on social media were calling for Ms. Winfrey to run for the highest office in the land in 2020. And really, why the hell not? If America is all about having celebrities run their country, they could do a hell of a lot worse (and currently are).

Oprah comes from nothing, built herself up and created an empire that is actually successful! She didn’t get any handouts to get herself started and hasn’t gone bankrupt several times over—you want a businessperson running the country, you’d be hard pressed to find a better one!

Imagine having a woman this eloquent giving a press conference, or the State of the Union address, or hell, even an inauguration speech—feeling uplifted and inspired rather than ‘holy shit, what have we done?!’

Yes, she’s got little experience in political office, but Winfrey’s a damn smart woman, and damn smart people know that when they don’t know something, they turn to advisors and those with experience in such matters to help guide them to make the best decisions for the people.

Also, there wouldn’t be any tweets letting her followers and the world know that she’s “like, really smart”—smart people don’t have to say they’re smart, their actions tend to prove that point.

While I think America should veer away from this disastrous experiment in allowing non-politicians to run their country, if Ms. Winfrey did decide to throw her name in the race in two years, I wouldn’t be against it (especially sitting from the sidelines north of the 49th parallel).

However, there are currently plenty of women in office right now that have the right experience and could be potential candidates, with the proper support. So maybe look to them as well? Just a thought.

Side Note: I fucking LOVE Oprah’s glasses. Seriously, glasses aren’t seen as a hinderance to looking amazing anymore. You can go to a gala and rock your glasses rather than cram plastic bits into your eyes—LOVE IT!

-A.

 

Getting (more) crafty in 2018

It’s a brand new year. A new chapter in the book of life, a blank slate on which we can paint anything. Anything is possible at the start of a new calendar!

Or some bullshit like that.

Why we all feel the need to better ourselves in January I don’t even know. Perhaps it’s because we tend to feel like sloths after all that Christmas food and a total lack of exercise—the holidays are over, now we can get back on track!

You could make that argument after Thanksgiving as well, but no one ever seems to.

I don’t really believe in making resolutions about diets and exercise, since I feel that’s something that ought to be done year round. Rather, I’m going to set a goal for myself that I know I can actually achieve and won’t give up on in February.

I want to master the crochet Magic Ring. I’ve gotten the whole crocheting flat things down pretty well—washcloths, hand towels, scarfs, hats, etc. Now I’d like to try and make more 3D stuff, so I’m looking at amigurumi.

Wikipedia tells me amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. I like small creatures, so I think this will be fun.

However, it takes some practice. Crocheting in the round isn’t something I’ve done a lot of, so I need to get the starter magic ring down, as pretty much all amigurumi patterns start with that.

This was my first attempt, which isn’t too terrible.

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I had no stuffing to fill it with, so it’ll probably just wind up being a toy for the cats.

So that’s my crafty goal for 2018. I plan to have a whole horde of little yarn creatures by the end of the year.

Happy New Year, folks.

-A.