WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 4 of Doctor Who, as well as references to my menstrual cycle. If either of these things leaves you feeling angry/uncomfortable/queasy/indignant, you might want to click this link. It’s full of puppies and is sure to make you feel better.
As of this week, I have started a race with my friends Lizzy and Alex, who are both superb, regular bloggers. (See their names there, all hyperlinked? You should definitely click those, because what you find there is going to be infinitely better than what you’re about to read. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.)
It was an entirely selfish move – I was desperate to be constructive to some degree and I needed a significant amount of motivation to get me out of my recurring emotional funk. Luckily, I have some of the best friends in the world, and they are totally going to kick my butt at this, but I don’t care, because right now I have ten fingers that are flying across the keys of my Macbook and letters are coming up on the screen, and that is far better than the alternative, which was lying in bed, clutching my cramping guts and hating the world. Yes, this is definitely better.
Today has been a bit of a mess of a day, and that is why this is a bit of a mess of a blog post.
As I briefly mentioned previously, my dad has spent the last two weeks in hospital. There’s a magnificent story behind it, but all you need to know right now is that he broke his foot quite badly, but is otherwise okay. This morning, he came home, and he is currently sitting in the lounge room, watching TV. Things are quite good in that respect.
The other major thing that happened today (and this is an ICK WARNING, so if you don’t like hearing about lady things, RUN AWAY NOW) is that I got my period.
Now, this isn’t that big a deal for most women, but for me it totally is, especially since the bastard came early. Again, not worth a song and dance, but do you know what an early period means for me? It means a special kind of period pain.
In order to give you the full scale of how much discomfort I was in, I want you to imagine the following: you have a migraine. It is so bad it is making you nauseous, and you are actually moaning and whimpering in pain. You can’t deal with sunlight, and you just want to dissolve into atoms and drift away on the breeze, like Astrid Peth in the Titanic episode of Doctor Who.
Got that? Now transfer the pain to the region about a hand’s width up from your junk and you’ve got a rough idea of how I spent half of my day.
Naturally, this meant that writing was pretty much impossible. Granted, I had started a piece last night about social media and how it can turn the most well-meaning of left-wing activists into group-think almost-bullies, but it was only half-done and by the time I sat down to give it another go I was so exhausted by all the kafuffle of the day I had just lived through that it just ended up coming out as bitter and slightly racist. It was completely irretrievable, so I put it aside and started again. This brings us to our current predicament – where do I take this post from here?
Whenever authors or poets or any other purveyor of the written word is asked about how to be a better writer, their answer is always, in one form or another, summed up in two words: just write.
It is a tiny little sentence, and yet it is so hard to follow through on sometimes. Whether it’s been due to depression, being incredibly busy or plain old lack of inspiration, it’s been the thing I’ve wanted to do most over the last few months, and yet the one thing I have been completely unable to do. I keep getting wound up in concepts of quality and offence and whether my efforts are good enough, and if sitting down was really worth it. Look at all those hours wasted on that piece on social media that is completely unpublishable! I could have used those playing Pokémon, damn it!
That’s why I needed this challenge. This is why I need Lizzy and Alex being awesome, and this is why I need to have something to aim for. “Just write” isn’t enough for me, not at the moment. I need some metaphorical fire in my belly to get over the hurdles, like the literal fire in my belly I endured today. I need a push until I can gather enough speed to keep rolling on my own. This is the push I needed.
After all, I ended up writing something today, didn’t I?
Thank you, ladies. Here’s to the next six months, eh?