Friday, May 11, 2012

Helen Redfern - One Thing I've Learnt

In the past few months I've learnt so many things. I've learnt that it is stressful putting your family home up for sale. I've learnt if you clear all the books and paper out of your office it makes it look bigger. And I've learnt that my writing mind just disappears when I've got a lot on in real life. Making you question whether you're a real writer at all.

It took me a while to learn that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you have a few weeks off writing because you're dealing with estate agents, solicitors and banks. It doesn't matter if you can't write because all you can think about is houses, new schools and what on earth do I do with an aga.

Writing has been my saviour when struggling with inner demons. It has given me purpose and structure to my day. It has given me an escape. It has provided me with new friends. But mostly it has given me enjoyment and a feeling of achievement. 

When writing isn't an enjoyment because real life is intruding, and I'm just staring at the keyboard or mindlessly surfing the web, then it's ok to take a walk. Soak up the sounds of the birds singing, observe the way the river looks after a heavy period of rain. Walk through the town and listen to voices. Real life dramas being replayed in front of you whilst you sip a cup of coffee.

And guess what? Now I've learnt all of that I feel I can write again. I feel I've given myself permission to worry about other stuff but now I want to open my notebooks and pull out my special pen.

Yes, writers do write. But maybe not whilst selling their family home.

Helen Redfern


JO said...

Why do we all have to learn this the hard way!! Sometimes there is just too much Life for writing.

I'm glad you are words are flowing again.

Chris Stovell said...

That'a a very wise post and a useful reminder to anyone who's tried to push on through difficult personal times that the writing will still be there waiting.

liz fenwick said...

Agree with you both...we do seem to have to learn the hard way and we do need to be reminded not push too hard!

Great post helen.


Helen said...

Thank you all. We've now exchanged and got a moving date (two weeks today!). I doubt very much if I'll get any writing done between now and then, and this time I'm not giving myself a hard time about it. Lesson learnt!

DJ. Kirkby said...

I agree completely - I write everyday unless life gets in the way. I've learned not to blame myself when life is bullying my writing time :)

Barnaby said...

Hi, I first met you in Weatherstones, in Truro.I went in for a card, but when I saw your face on the front of Writers Forum, I had to buy it. Your face just beemed Joy, joy of life. The magazine has helped too. I needed a little nudge, just to get my energy running again. Oh, and you are now a pinup on my wall, don't tell your husband. Barnaby

Barnaby said...

In your article in the magazine, you say that you dont plan at all. You only have character,title and location. Well, the (book) I still have difficulty saying it. When I started it, I didn't even have that,the characters, just show up, and they create the story. Am I weird ? My whole book is like that.

liz fenwick said...

Definitely don't beat yourself up Helen. Be kind to yourself and good luck with the move!!!

Life can bully, can't DJ!

Barnaby - every writer has there own way...nothing is either right or wrong if it works.