It’s just as well none of us can see into the future. We’d bury our heads under the duvet every morning and refuse to come out. It seemed like such a straightforward decision at the time. I’d always wanted to be a writer. Why not give up NOT being one? After all, it was only for 125 days. I could raise some money for One25. Get a taste of the writer’s life. Lay the urge to rest once and for all. Then come the middle of July I’d be able to go back to normal. Fait accompli. Simple.
One of the things about embarking on a major life change is you never quite know where you’re going to end up. I realised I’d be spending a lot of time in front of a computer screen. I thought I might have to adjust parts of my normal routine to accommodate this. Maybe I’d do a bit more reading. Observe the world with a writer’s eye. So far so good.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine becoming a writer would impact my life in the way it has. There are days when I eat, sleep and breathe writing. A story. A blog post. A poem grabs me by the throat. Won’t let me go until it’s written. Edited. Polished. Two in the morning I’ve been here wrestling with words. Other days my mind’s a total blank. Emptier than the page in front of me. I write my five hundred words in deleted opening sentences. Drink so much tea I’m in the loo every ten minutes.
But that’s not the end of it. For the record, and because today has been a very long day. Here is my list of the biggest changes so far.
I’ve given up watching telly. I don’t mean I haven’t got time at the moment. That I’m going back to it when all this is over. I mean I’ve cancelled my monthly donation to the Rupert Murdoch benevolent fund. Disconnected the box. Unplugged the set. Life’s too short. There are books to read. Stories to write. People to meet. Open mic poetry nights. Yoga classes … I’m looking for a new home for a well-loved telly. One careful owner. Any offers?
Talking of finding new homes for once-prized possessions. I’m in the midst of a massive de-clutter. This is doing my head in. My flat’s compact. Bijou. It’s now more or less impossible to see the floor. Much less walk on it. There are piles everywhere. Books. Clothes. Bedding. How I’ve managed to accumulate so much junk, heaven only knows. And how the hell am I going to get rid of it all? Nothing to do with becoming a writer you’d think. But you see there was this book I read while I was researching for the blog …
Research is another thing I don’t recommend. Unless you’re up for challenge. Or impervious to the impact. A couple of weeks ago I visited the RSPCA website. To find out more about how the meat we eat is slaughtered. All I can say is, try eating meat with that stuck in your head. So … I’m going back to being vegetarian. After more than 30 years. And I’m thinking about the vegan option.
An upside of vegetarian food is it’s a deal more eco-friendly than meat. Just as well. Writing’s kept me nose-to-nose with the havoc we’re wreaking on this fragile planet of ours. I’m working on reducing my impact on the environment. I’ve bought an Ecoegg laundry egg. Reviewed my cleaning materials. I’m trying to waste less. Recycle more. Signed up for updates from the Green Party.
When it comes to getting more involved in politics, I’ve neither the time nor the space to go into it here. I thought I’d given up in despair. Years ago. I’m back in the ring now. Even if it’s only a rant on the blog from time to time.
So what about that yoga class? How can that possibly have anything to do with being a writer? Well, it’s the best cure I can think of for the stiff shoulders. And all those new people. Just think. I’m bound to find some fresh ideas for writing …
I’m blogging to raise funds for a charity close to my heart. I’ve given up NOT being a writer for 125 days in support of One25’s work with vulnerable women in Bristol. If you’ve enjoyed reading this, you can find out more about what I’m doing by visiting One25’s website at http://www.one25.org.uk/. You can also support them by visiting my fund raising page at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=JeanMutch where you can make a donation and suggest an idea for a short story or a post on the blog. Thank you.