Why is it that no matter how hard you try ‘life’ always seems to want to get in the way? I am a writer, I’ve told everyone that is what I am doing all day, every day. Yet somehow that never seems to mean anything to anyone but me. I don’t have a proper job so I must be doing nothing or sitting on my ass watching TV all day!
Admittedly, there are times when I watch TV to give my brain a little break whilst I’m eating lunch, but the majority of the time I am actually busy. I might be writing or editing, reading, researching something for my book or working on the plot or characterisation. I might even be interacting on social media or updating my blog. But I am certainly not ‘free’ or busy doing nothing!
So why is it that when I say ‘I’m busy’ people think that is code for ‘I’m not really busy, I’m just saying I am because I’m otherwise unemployed!’ and feel the need to invite themselves around for coffee or suggest doing lunch to give me something to do, because let’s face it – you’re just saying you’re busy aren’t you?!
I find life so frustrating sometimes. All I want is to be left in peace with my computer and my imagination, and perhaps a bottomless cup of hot coffee, so that I can allow my creativity to flow from my fingertips uninterrupted. Yet that always seems to be too much to ask. There are endless people (usually the same ones on a loop) vying for my attention. I don’t mean to be selfish, I do want to see you, honestly I do, but I just need some time to myself right now. Just for today. Please. So if it’s not too much trouble, and it won’t put you out, then no, not today, thank you!
© Abigayle Blood
Undertaking a blog is turning out to be a real process of self-discovery. After reading many articles and blogs (such as Writer’s Digest which I wholly recommend), it is suggested that to be a great blogger (and writer for that matter) you need to first know what you are all about, essentially ‘who you are’ – a mission statement if you will.
This sounds great in principle, but then you start to think “well hang on a minute, who am I? What am I about? Do I have a mission statement…?!” I mean we all have many parts or sides to our personalities that make up ‘who we are’ but it becomes very difficult to express when you suddenly have to decide which ‘parts’ of yourself you want to promote publicly… For instance, I am many things – a graduate, a cat owner (mummy to, as I do not have any ‘actual’ children yet!), a woman, a campaigner for women’s rights and sexual equality, an LGBTQ activist, a law student, a believer in human rights, anti-abuse and equalitarian society, and of course a writer and aspiring author. However these many things about me just make up a snippet of ‘who I am’.
There are other things that are more difficult to share that make up a person’s personality – gender, sexuality, political and religious views, past history and difficult experiences all make you ‘who you are’ and it is not easy to decide which bits to promote and which to leave out when throwing yourself open to the public for comment and review AND trying to present yourself in a cohesive and reader-friendly manner. How much do you need to say and what should you leave out? These are all questions that I have been battling with since embarking on my blogging journey, and if I’m honest I still don’t have all the answers yet. I have so many things that I want to say about the world as I see it, but again it’s putting those thoughts together into a cohesive way so as to adequately represent who I am and as such abide by whatever mission statement I choose. It seems to be a writer, and particularly writing a blog, begins with a long hard look in the mirror and an acknowledgement of who it is you really are… as such my quest to answer those questions begins here.
There are many obstacles to walking the (w)right path. Typically those commonly mentioned in careers information and the like are: it’s a competitive industry, it’s getting harder to find work, blah blah blah…
However, there is a lot more to it than first appears. Here are some of my own personal obstacles to walking the path:
Confidence or lack thereof in your writing ability despite constant praise from those who read it is a typical one. Self-doubt that really you’ve written a load of old tosh and that no one will be interested in it or read it can plague your thoughts. Be reassured that in spite of what you might think every writer has these fears, even some of the greatest authors of all time had doubts. Have faith in yourself and what you have to say. It is important. You are relevant. Now get writing..!
Opportunity to write can be tough to find, especially if you are from a small town like I am. Local experience if you can get it is great but if you, like me, have very little media sources available in your area then perhaps you need to consider moving further afield. Another option is writing via social media or online. As technology has grown so too has potential access to opportunities that you would otherwise not have had. Do your research; see what’s available and where you would best be placed to really make a go of things. Be brave and get yourself out there..!
Relationships are probably one of the biggest obstacles to following your dreams. I don’t say this because I am any kind of romantic cynic, on the contrary, I have been ruled many times by my emotions, and that is exactly why I have this opinion. Good old-fashioned experience. I didn’t go to university when I was 18 partly because I wanted to preserve a relationship (although thankfully I did go later). Many times since then a partner has persuaded me not to pursue certain hobbies or changed my mind about where I want my life to go, and in each and every case the relationship has ended and I have regretted my decision. If a relationship is meant to be your partner will respect what you want to do and your relationship will find a way. You shouldn’t need to compromise who you are or be dissuaded from following your dreams for anyone. Be you and be proud..!
Now obviously, all these things are easier said than done. Leaving home and/or loved ones in pursuit of something you are not completely confident about is a difficult task, but one that may be highly rewarding intrinsically. It may be a hard journey, but it’s one worth taking.
Perhaps the best advice for walking the path can be summed up in the following quotes:
“Don’t let people make you feel bad or guilty for living your life. It is your life. Life it the way you want” – Unknown
“Good things come to those who believe, better things come to those who are patient and the best things come to those who don’t give up!” – Unknown
Now, let’s get walking!
Here are just a few of my favourite inspirational quotes:
“Life would be so wonderful if only we knew what to do with it” – Greta Garbo
“Even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown out your own inner voice, and most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become!” – Steve Jobs
Little did I realise the reason why they spoke to me on such a profound level…
I have loved writing since I was very young. I remember being sent to the reception class in primary school to read out my poetry, and my short stories always got excellent grades. English really was my first love at school and I carried it all the way through to A-level. I even began writing articles for the Jersey Evening Post… then I left school, and instead of going straight into the career I should have I was lead to believe that I couldn’t make a career out of writing. So stuck with no other idea of what I wanted to do I went to a recruitment agency who pushed me towards the finance industry. It should have been obvious at the outset that this was completely the wrong path from the bright green suit that I wore; clearly I was cut out for something more artistic and creative than this. But instead, I blindly went along with it, believing it would all work out in the end; like driftwood being carried the wrong way out to sea. And after a long and fruitless walk (or is that swim) in totally the wrong direction I finally woke up one day and realised how miserable I had become. I needed to do something about it, and I needed to do it now!
So I quit. I went to university and started over. And after a lot of struggle and deep soul searching, I finally came up with the answer. It had been staring me in the face the whole time and I just hadn’t seen it. It wasn’t complicated or difficult. It was quite plain and obvious. I realised what these quotes had been trying to tell me – just to be myself! To stick to what I know and what I love – writing. I had been writing as a hobby the whole time, all I had to do was stop stemming my creative flow and let it pour and I would find vocational contentment. Now I am determined to continue to do the thing I love, to have the courage to follow my heart and intuition and to begin my journey down the (w)right path… even a journey of a thousand words begins with a single sentence!