Wednesday, 27 July 2016

On Writing Whatever You Want, Whenever You Can

I suppose it never really occurred to me that 2016 wasn't supposed to be my best year.

Maybe I'm an optimist, or perhaps it's something a little darker; a constant one-upmanship we are driven by daily as if our past selves are our present selves' competitors. Because what's the point in moving if you're not moving forward, right? It's funny how we read back to ourselves a narrative that's a millisecond ahead of our daily lives, trying to piece together what it all means so we might, too, be able to discern meaningful shapes in the mist of a foggy future.  

I'd forgotten it was simpler than that.

Even what I've written above is messy and could use refining, but what's wild and a little rebellious to me now, is how I can suddenly see that I don't actually need to care. Imagine all the time and joy I've lost trying to make everything I do a masterpiece. Perhaps that old adage is true, and there's a real liberation in writing like nobody is reading. A sigh of relief where you can draw the curtain shut, lock the door and suddenly flail your limbs around expressively in the exhilarating way you've been aching to all day, yet would never be caught dead doing in public.

I've been so shackled by the idea of the things I should be writing, that I've been ignoring my instinctive impulses of what I want to write, so have just written nothing at all. Because what's the point in moving if you're not moving forward, right? 


If you wanna move, fucking move. Get up, get on down shimmy about the place and lose your fucking shit in all the wrong directions if you feel you wanna. Because it's only the track beneath your feet that tells you you're supposed to be running thattaway, and what does it mean if there's no-one in the bleachers anyway? Fuck that, I'm going to go roll in the daisy-dotted grass in the middle and do some handstands and shit.

I feel like a lone survivor in the apocalypse of my own imagination, where I've killed off the majority of the cast of my ideas, and assassinated the interest of anyone left who wanted to watch too. The wind howls through my abandoned creative motivation, and like a thunderbolt of realisation, I can suddenly see how actually not shit it is to be unwatched. Now I'm driving a monster truck through the deserted shopping mall of my mind, looting the jewellery stores and throwing the diamonds in the fountain, making a human pyramid of American Apparel mannequins then bowling them down with a giant Frankenstein-esque sphere of mashed up Lush bath bombs because honestly why the fuck not. The last person on earth to care was me, and hallelujah, she's finally let go.

At this point I feel inclined to  mention that I've set myself a goal of writing 500 words a day and will be posting all on this blog, but I shan't be doing either. I'm just going to write the fuck out of whatever I feel inclined to do so and whenever, which means there's likely to be a patchwork of massively incoherent random snippets and essays and chapters popping up all over the place, which would be pretty unprofesh ~content~ if I wasn't literally just writing for my own sheer fucking THRILL.

It's so crazy how we can sabotage something as beautifully magic as creativity and divine inspiration by trying to ram jam slam it into the pasta machine of convention so it comes out in neat little ravioli-shaped pieces of content.

Today I felt overcome with desire to start writing about my time in New York as if it were a novel. I immediately jumped ready to guilt myself into refocusing my priorities, what are you going to do with it? Why not focus on your work assignments instead? What about all those other books you said you were going to start? And as I felt the familiar enthusiasm begin to drain in intensity like the flavour in a fresh piece of gum I thought NO! I don't care, I'm going to do it anyway. So I wrote out a couple hundred words on the train and I felt bloody good about it and it's currently lurking sneakily in a hyperlink beneath this entire sentence. 

Have I finally lost it? Probs, but this is the happiest I've felt all damn year. 


  1. Sometimes the best thing to do is let yourself go and just write x

  2. As per usual, beautiful post — to which I can relate a lot. Actually, I was thinking about that the other day. I eventually decided to write, and in the end, the words kept flowing effortlessly. That was kind of the best feeling. x

  3. the apocalypse bit really got me. I really like visualizing your mind like that, and then reflecting on myself in the same way. with words, authors like to EXPLAIN everything. I like to quote dave grohl here (haha): "You can sing a song to 85,000 people and they’ll sing it back for 85,000 different reasons." maybe it's the same with words though, I read your stories and can only reflect with my emotions on it? I dunno. I just love reading.

  4. I think I was crying when I read this post last night and I came here to read it again. It's because I needed to be free from the burden of creating a "masterpiece" everytime I sit down and draw or write anything. Thank you Katie!

  5. This paragraph in itself is - even if unintentionally - a masterpiece "I feel like a lone survivor in the apocalypse of my own imagination...".
    I should do this, too. And get back into reading books. I should, I want to and I will. Thank you for yet again being the inspiring kick up the arse.

  6. Good point! Absolutely agree with you! My teacher use to say let it flow and swim with it. Look around everyone thinks we are in a competition. That's why we are trying to do the best. Let us do what we can!

  7. No you haven't lost it at all, in fact I think you've hit on a very important truth! I love writing but probably only write about 500ish words a month, always restarting the same projects and then getting fed up because it's not becoming what I want it to become. But maybe we need to just let ourselves write what is actually there because we can use that and mould it in the future if needs be. (But yum, I want pasta now) xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Food, Travel, Italy

  8. Oh I so needed to read this! Too often it's so easy to get so consumed by the logistics, the results, the pressure to write that we completely so much perspective. Thank you for the reminder...just WRITE whenever, whatever.
    I'm taking your own advice! Ana xxx

  9. Yes! I needed to hear this today, I've been moping around procrastinating today because I didn't really feel like writing what I planned to write. You're right though. Fuck that

    Katie x

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