half full. half empty.

Recently a few people have asked me if I earn any money from blogging. One of them was my dad, possibly concerned that his daughter’s distraction with this frivolous pursuit may mean a more regular guest at the dinner table? To my mom’s absolute horror I responded by sharing my plans to sell my house and move right back in with them to cut back on my living expenses …  This was of course more of a throwaway remark aimed at our economic climate, than an actual threat, but my mom’s reaction put paid to any thoughts I may subconsciously have been entertaining of recapturing my youth in my childhood home. Never mind. My cup is still full. 

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But back to blogging. No. No money for it. Yes, it does serve a purpose, beyond frivolous fun.

In 2013 I went on a writing retreat in Franschoek with the intention of finding my own writing voice. The theory being that if you constantly write for specific audiences or try to capture the tone or personality of the individual or brand you are writing for, it is entirely possible that you will forget what you sound like as yourself. So I went seeking. With a cup, that in my mind, was half empty.

I was surprised how resistant I was to writing ‘just’ as me, and how, easily distracted, I would fall back into a familiar tone or persona. Sounds a little unstable doesn’t it? However, looking back I think (read I know) I was just being lazy, and opting for an easy way out. If one really wants a result, one needs to keep knocking, and not softly-softly air-tapping at that door. After accepting that it wasn’t an easy win I managed to write a number of ‘my things’ – some published, many not. I even managed to (motivated by my good friend Cornè) write my first short story Same Place. Same Time. 

Sometimes I have a lot of things to say. Often I run out of ideas, am tired after a full day’s work, or am so over everyday material that I can’t think of an original thing to say. Then, just as Poppy and I are settling in for the night a random idea pops into my head, and I have to act fast, as it will be gone by daylight. 

This can result in a late night of sweating it out as I string words together, watched by my disgruntled cat. She will of course wake me up early in the morning, first softly-softly, then more bullishly. Subtle she’s not, but she’ll get a result as I will concede and traipse into the kitchen to inspect the contents of her food bowl. And like every morning it will be “Well look at that, it’s still half full, but here’s a little more.”

If I don’t exercise I can get quite crabby. It’s quite addictive when those endorphins link their little arms and steadily increase the pace of their can-can. The more I exercise the creative side that fuels and manages my voice, the more fun writing becomes. The more I practice, the easier it gets. It’s even become a way of reminding myself that my glass is full. How do you see yours?

halffull

 

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