Reading, Writing (Not Arithmetic)

I’ve been writing again.  Stories and scraplets of poems.  It’s good, to be able to put pen to paper or fingers to keypad, and write something, anything at all.  When I write, I feel I have a grip on things I don’t have all the time.  I’ve always slightly envied people who can read a poem and grasp at a meaning, reach slightly above themselves and pull it down like a cryptic crossword answer.  It takes me more effort than that.  But writing is nearly my version of that… I take what’s here and what’s almost here, what should be here and might have been, and try to shape it into something.  It doesn’t always work but when I do it, I feel more grounded somehow, more me.  I’ve always written… and a lot of the time it’s complete shite (take this entry, for example) but yeah… it helps.  Making pictures helps too.  I have set myself a list of targets for each day, to stop me falling off the map again, and writing and making pictures are two of my possible activities.  This is what I wrote about writing before, and it holds roughly true:

When I don’t read, I know something is seriously wrong.  For months now it’s been a real struggle, something I try and fail to do and then avoid because it’s hard.  At my most avid, I could read 4 books a week, so this complete mental block is painful… It’s also partly a guilt thing, feeling that if I can’t read for uni I shouldn’t be allowed to read at all, ever.  But then a friend brought me the Dark Materials trilogy in hospital, and I’ve been working my way through them, because they’re familiar enough not to stress me out.  Over the summer I want to work through the reading lists, like the Hungry Caterpillar, so that I don’t get stuck with the same horrible feelings of panic, inadequacy and underprepared-ness that I felt this time around.  I don’t want to end up ill over something I am meant to love.  So I got some books out of the library and I am trying (failing a little bit) to press my mind into them, or vice versa.  There’s something comforting about the library anyway.  I quite often go and take books out for the niceness of it, instead of having any intention of reading them…

So there we go.  It turns out, maybe not so surprisingly, that two of the things I like most are going to be most important in staying level.  (On the flip side, it means that they terrify me- I’ve never written 15,000 words, or ctreated something as hardcore as an MA dissertation! Panic! Woe! Horror!)  For now, though, I am concentrating on reading and writing anything at all… by not concentrating too hard, like a person who grasps poems and pulls down the answer from the clues.


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