annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Day 91

I just found out Son is coming down tomorrow for my birthday, which isn't till next Tuesday. Apparently they all knew, Daughter, Bloke, Grandson, as well as Son, and nobody told me, though it's not a deliberate surprise, they just didn't tell me. And tomorrow is the last of the Thursday writing group sessions, and the last but one of my art therapy and I just paid for the early evening yoga, which is meant to be cancelled within 24 hours for a refund, and really I am thrilled to be seeing Son, but why on a Thursday? If anyone has told me I'd have got him to change it to Friday. How am I going to not hug him? He got narky when I said that on the phone just now - he's coming down on the train and WE WILL NOT BE HUGGING. All right, man. Jeez.

This is as far as I got with the Why Do I Write - I don't know is really the answer and I don't care, I just do.

So, why do I write? How can I not write? How can anyone not write? I don't even know how it works, why it matters to put words down on a page or a screen - why it's so different to talking, but it is.

I don't have fiction in me any more. I used to, in fact I've written three novels (well, first drafts of novels) but a big mental breakdown shut that pipeline down and all I can do now is witter on, sometimes accessing long forgotten memories, sometimes just blethering about my day or my kids. I'm almost 66 now, so there's a lot of memories piled up in there somewhere.

I've always written, since first getting a pen pal. Letters were my thing for decades - hugs great fat envelopes posted off to friends who'd moved abroad or got banged up for drugs, never thinking about it too much, just spewing it all out and bunging it in the post.

Then blogging - I've kept an online journal for 15 years now, which started as a place to moan on about my mental ill health in a way I couldn't do in Real Life as people have their own lives, their own problems (the bastards) and I had a lot of moaning to do. Somehow it's kept going, moving through various phases following the meandering path my life has taken. I used to be a lot funnier than I've been since my daughter died. I still have my moments, but not so many. For a while then I couldn't write at all - it all seemed pointless - she was all I could think about, everything else was trivial, though I had nothing to say about her and her death beyond a giant howl of anguish.

But not writing isn't good for me, something gets clogged up and nasty. A friend from one of the mental health recovery centres I go to announced in November that she was going to do the 31 Days of December blog challenge - to write a blog every single day - and I thought I'd give it a go too. This is my kind of writing - a commitment to getting some words down whether I have anything to say or not. I wrote every day in December and have only missed two days ever since - when I was caught up In Little Fires Everywhere and stuck on the 'just one more episode' trap.

I've written all through the lockdown, some of the longest posts I've done in ages, words just spewing out of my fingers onto the screen, god knows what they're about.

My desire to be published ebbs and flows. At the moment I'm not bothered. I have a small but select number of readers, mostly from the US but also the UK, Ireland, Spain, Norway, Canada and Chile. I write, people read it. Job done.

12:37 a.m. - 11.06.20


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