November 18, 2015

Writing For Writing’s Sake

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I have nothing to write about today! Yet, here I am. Because: I feel like writing. There’s only one place to go for me when I’m in this strange mood, itching to write something…tap tap tap...yet I don’t have an idea. Because you don’t need to be in an amazing mood when you write on your own blog (if you don’t want to). You don’t have to have an award-winning idea for a shareable list! No need for a crazy headline to grab any clicks! No need to trick people into reading your shocking true story! No big reveal here! No free gift! Because people who want to read your blog will read it because they like it. And even if they don’t, at least you stretched your tiny finger muscles. Sometimes you want to jazz things up and make an all-singing all-dancing blog post and sometimes you metaphorically want to lie around in your pyjamas with people who don’t care. I always feel like I’ve gained something by writing even if it’s a little bit of a waffle. Writing is even harder when you have no ideas and your brain feels like it’s going round in a washing machine.

This is why I love blogging. No pressure. No clickbait. No thirst. Just words and a person, typing away.

So please, let me tell you about my day. I’d also love to hear about yours. I recently stumbled across Cheryl Strayed’s list of writing prompts and my writing prompt today is going to be reeling off some boring shit about my day.

Just Another Day. No real reason at all that I’ve decided to focus on this particular one. This is what it consisted of:

  • woke up with a slight hangover from having a sleepover with my best friend last night
  • walked to the train station in the bright sunshine, odd but brilliant weather for November
  • freaked myself out about Christmas present purchasing
  • texted my sister who booked our train tickets home this weekend
  • did a video shoot at work, and meetings/meetings/meetings
  • walked in the rain to Brick Lane for a meeting
  • let a plumber in to fix our toilet flush – I know, chic
  • washed my hair with some intense conditioner because a LOT of hairspray happened on the shoot
  • had a bath and listened to JK Rowling’s Desert Island Discs
  • cleaned the kitchen and made some food
  • tried on some new clothes from Beyond Retro – loved two things, hated two things
  • muted a couple of Whatsapp groups that drive me nuts
  • felt anxious about a thing happening on Friday
  • realised that worrying about so many small things is pointless, but carried on worrying anyway
  • checked my diary so many times in case I’ve missed something
  • lost myself in a sea of Google docs which I made to feel more organised, but end up making me feel more confused
  • online ordered some massive Spanx to wear to a best friend’s wedding next year

I’m winding down a little, not physically, things are still a whirlwind, but I’ve been learning little techniques to just let my mind just be. Do you know how damaging really it is to scroll and scroll and scroll? We all do it, we all have that gormless look sometimes when we’re hunched over our phones, aggressively needing to catch up quickly on everything all at once. It’s fine. But sometimes I just snap and I need space. This month I’ve been a bit more like: Hey Internet, actually can you back off? Like for real. Back the fuck off away from me. I am going to need some quiet time. I’ve been reading, mainly tucking back into The Most of Nora Ephron and listening to a LOT of podcasts and walking whenever I can, instead of taking a train or bus. Just little walks, with my podcasts, to think.

I’m feeling pooped from the year. I think most people probably are. This is the time of year to relax though, isn’t it? And I’ve started to realise there’s nothing wrong with relaxing. I forget that being busy isn’t a badge of honour. Being busy can be a distraction, and it’s nice to just look around sometimes and actually look.

I’ve realised I’m not ready to talk about my book yet, and all the work that’s gone into it and what it means to me. I want to write about it soon, the start-to-finish process, the highs and lows, the techniques that worked well, the moments of utter dread and the moments of feeling invincible. It’s been a funny old few months, adding that book into my life. It’s taken up a lot of time – but more than that – it’s taken up a lot of energy. A lot of mental energy. One good thing is that because I’ve been so in the zone with it that I haven’t cared as much what people think. Maybe it’s been sight tunnel vision. I’ve been so focused on the book + sharing my feelings about it with my friends. Perhaps being immersed in something so personal is a good thing because I haven’t had time to stress about stranger’s opinions of me. I’ve got more done, that’s for sure.

I hope you’re enjoying my newsletter as much as I enjoy writing it. I feel like it’s a much more personal way to say hello and share things that might inspire a smaller community of people. I just package up all the best writings, quotes, questions, think-pieces throughout the week and blast them out to a group of awesome people – I love it.

This is definitely my favourite time of the year. I love reflecting back, and looking forward to a brand new year. I love the feeling of not knowing what could happen. I love the crisp cold weather, wearing big scarves and mulled wine and spending quality time with friends and family. I love how sentimental everyone gets. I love the Christmas decorations in London. I love staying indoors and not feeling guilty about it. I love going home and lying by the fire in my parents house, reading. I love hot chocolate from Starbucks in a red cup. I love big knitted jumpers and how everyone at work is in a jollier mood. I love adding an extra layer from all the eating.

I guess what I’m saying is, I am looking forward to next year. I’m looking forward to sharing something that I’ve kept hidden away. I guess I’m excited for people to see a different side to my writing. I’m looking forward to battling through it and getting out of my comfort zone. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

I wasn’t sure how I felt until I wrote all that down – turns out, I’m way happier today than I thought. It’s OK to blog just for yourself sometimes. Even if it comes out a bit annoyingly upbeat and dull at the same time.

  • This was actually a refreshing post, thanks for sharing Emma 🙂

  • I agree with Rachel that this was a really refreshing post. And a good reminder that day-to-day posts are as interesting to read as the inspiring/aspiring posts.

    xx

  • Refreshing indeed! And a very nice reminder of being yourself and not getting caught in the whirlwind of Internet. Thanks!

  • This is my second time reading this because I just love it so much. Sometimes the only writing I do is a list of random crap I need to do, but I love how you made even a list sound interesting.

  • Brittany

    This is probably one of my favorite posts ever, honestly. Along with everyone above, I found it extremely refreshing as well as making me want to go and do something, be that writing on my novel or just reading more posts or exploring the house I’m currently at.

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