So picture it: I’m sitting at my computer in my bra and knickers, hair wet from the shower. I’m not inviting you to share an erotic fantasy, you understand, just waiting for the creative impulse to arrive, via the blank space currently in my head.
The problem with having a blog is that there must be something to write about. I did quite well in the early days of writing it, but now seem to have slowed down, the muse having quite deserted me. This is Blog number 20, which I guess ain’t bad for a year’s blogging.
There is another blog I read sometimes, and he seems to post something every day. I don’t know how he does it. And whether I would want to do it. Or whether you would want me to do it. Between you and I, it does get a little tedious to have a daily blog. Not that I would tell him that. I wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings.
Now here’s something to tell you about: I’ve started writing a sequel to my first memoir ‘Rebel Without a Clue’. My story in that book ended around 1981 and, of course, life went on after that. Maybe not as crazy, drug fuelled or sex driven, and certainly there was no more public nudity. (Am I whetting the appetite of those of you who have not yet read Rebel Without a Clue? Oh, good.)
But my life continued to be interesting, exciting, risky (albeit in different ways), so there is more to write about. There was murder, lesbian relationships, work with HIV and AIDS when it was still seen as a public danger. Forging friendships with gay men (unusual for a lesbian in those days. We tended not to mix very much.) The suicide of a best friend, the slow, painful death of another. Climbing the career ladder, then being made redundant. Then climbing it again – and being made redundant again. Tears, laughter, pain, joy, love and anger. It’s all there in the forthcoming sequel. It’s working title is ‘Rebel With a Cause’, but that may change
However, as any author will tell you, creative writing is 25% inspiration, and 75% perspiration. As someone said ‘I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.’ The first draft is a doddle. It flows and grows, takes on a life of it’s own and is exciting as the words form paragraphs, and the story takes shape. That’s the easy bit. Then comes the re-writes, editing, revisions, the amendments, adjustments, alterations. By the end of the umpteenth version, you are sick to death of the bleedin’ thing. And then something magical happens. It becomes a book. A thing that you can hold in your hand, smell the paper and ink, turn the pages. It is real.
So the writing has begun, and I’m getting the bare bones of it on paper. I’ve been looking at some old photos and am astonished to see the person I was then. I can barely relate to her, this young woman so full of energy, bright eyed, gamine and lovely. The pictures remind me not only of who I was, but of what I was to become. A strong, capable older woman, comfortable in her skin. Indeed, comfortable in her bra and knickers, sat at the computer.
You know what? Writing is never going to make me rich and famous, but I enjoy it so much that I am prepared to take that risk of being ridiculed, slagged off or just ignored. Whether writing my memoirs (or any of the other projects I have in mind) or my blog, I just want to use language to fulfil a need in myself, and if it makes you, dear reader, laugh or think or get angry, then I am happy.
And here is a useful tip for those blank moments, that writer’s block – nothing works better than eating ice cream, straight from the tub. The creative juices start to flow quicker than a melting raspberry ripple scoop.