Tag Archives: writing

Sod it, the floors can stay filthy.

The current writing set-up.

What have I been writing?  Lists, mainly.  Reams and reams of lists in an effort to keep myself on track and to keep the breakdowns at bay (sort of).  I’ve now got so many different notepads that even finding my lists is becoming stressful.  I’ve had to commandeer the entire kitchen table for my notepads, hundreds of books and laptop.  Thankfully, as a thoroughly modern couple, Paul and I have only actually used the kitchen table to eat from once, generally preferring the food-on-lap, sat on sofa, watching TV in pyjamas approach to meal times.

The lists include:

  • Homework to do
  • Shopping list
  • To-do today list
  • Previous X Factor winners (a drunken contest with Paul to see who could remember the most- I won, not sure that’s anything to be proud of)
  • Dinners for the week (if we don’t do this, it descends into fish fingers every night pretty quickly)

On the homework to do list we have:

  • Write a poem of 11 Stanzas of two lines each, repeat the phrase “I put on my cloak”.  Not yet started.
  • Write a poem about the creation of the world, in the style of John Milton.  Where do I even start?
  • “Choose an aspect of the argument and take a position against it”.  I honestly don’t know what this refers to, but I’ve written it down, it must have meant something at the time.
  • 6 bullet points on Paradise lost.  I’ve got 3, that’s good progress.
  • Re-write something thinking about metre.  Also not started.

This is not even including the assignments due.  I’d quite like sit here and sob for while.  Instead, I review my “To-do today list”.

  • E-mail homework.  Done!  It’s dreadful, but it’s done, so that counts as a victory.
  • Make dinner.  Tomato sauce simmering behind me, meatballs in fridge.  Boom.
  • Mop.  Sod it, the floors can stay filthy.
  • Read book.  Later, with a glass of wine I think.
  • E-mail author.  This is for an interview assignment that I can’t think about because if I do, I stop breathing and wonder why I am doing this to myself.
  • Run.  Not likely, I’ll just get fat instead.
  • Ride horse.  Sod it, she can get fat too.
  • Cuddle cat.  Already achieved, look at me go!

It’s becoming increasingly tempting to curl up in a ball and be defeated, I must admit.  But instead, I put on “I’m the man” by the Killers, grab my notepad, and go about attempting to write a poem about the beginnings of the world.  Wish me luck.

New Beginnings

Tracy Gow portrait
Tracy Gow M.Litt Writing Practice & Study 2017/18

Coming back to university after, ermm… a very long time, has been quite a ride. A roller coaster ride to be exact. The sensation of hurtling through space with whitened knuckles and a smile stretched like an Aardman character will give you an approximate idea of how it feels right now. Even this blog post has been thrust upon us at a moment’s notice. “You’re writers… go write!” is the recurring theme of these first few weeks. Whatever we’re doing, we’re slowly getting used to hearing, “You’ve got five minutes to write….” What about polishing the craft, choosing careful words? Well, I suppose writing at speed is good practice for writing professionally, which is, after all, why we’re all here.

I’m an aspiring fiction writer, but have been challenged with canonical reading, poetry analysis, literary review and now, an impromptu blog post. It’s demanding, challenging and incredibly frightening, but we’re at the cliff face, doing what we love, so it should be fun. “Fun” is a word we hear regularly. It’s more than an adjective – it’s a clarion call. A challenge. We should be having fun. As the roller coaster hurls us through another 360 degrees and keeps looping, we’re repeating that mantra, even as we’re trying not to reach for the paper bag.