Sorry I went off on a tangent then, as I said for this paper I have to write this creative non fiction piece. I started to splurge on the page how I felt when the surgery first went wrong (by the way I don't have a gastric band - none of this was by choice). The implications of not being able to eat goes way beyond nutrition. Much of our social life is based around it and all the emotions relating to this flowed onto the page. I had to dig quite deep as the original op was back in 2000 and I had my PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) fitted in 2001 which gave me my life back. My children were 15, 13 and 11 when this happened. It had a huge impact on them too and it was thinking about this that started to trigger the ideas and thoughts connected with the rewrites of Ham and Jam. Some of their reactions and incidents that happened at that time were inspirational.
I am a great advocate of free writing when you are feeling stuck (I don't believe in writer's block as such). I often get my students to empty what is in their heads onto the page as I was originally taught by Dr Neil McCaw in my first year at University. To just keep writing, don't stop, don't think about whether it makes sense or punctuate it. No one else, other than you - if you want to that is- will read it. Sometimes going back over it can give you images or ideas but the main idea is to clear the clutter out of your head. I have always done this without a purpose and it was, in the main, successful. However, with this piece I was splurging with a purpose. It was hugely cathartic and releasing. The words and ideas for Ham and Jam consequently all started flowing again. I have never done free writing like this with a specific purpose but for me it seemed to be more successful than my normal free writing. If you are struggling maybe giving it a try. Think of something that happened in your past and write about it. Allow yourself the freedom to say whatever you want and remember to look at both sides of any situation.
Joni Mitchel from Both Sides Now because I love it and heard it today
What a timeous post! I seem to have spent the past week splurging at 3am in what appears to be the beginnings of a new story. Clearly your splurging energy travels! I remember the free writing sessions from both school and university and they are amazingly freeing and at multiple levels.ReplyDelete
I do like to share! Can't wait to hear this new story of yours. I think there is a lot to be said for splurging.ReplyDelete
I can't imagine what it's like not to eat but am reassured to hear you can take alcohol! I think I needed this post a few times over the past months - I will remember that now, just empty your head! Thanks for the wisdom!ReplyDelete
I am not supposed to drink alcohol but do lapse - sometimes life is just too short - though I do tend to fall over quite quickly as have no food to absorb it!! One glass and I am anybody's. The worst thing is you still feel hungry so like with the alcohol I occasionally try eating something and then pay for it afterwards with so much pain. But hey I wouldn't be doing what I am doing if it hadn't happened so I will put up with anything.ReplyDelete
Am glad you found it useful Candy
Love this exposition of the value (both therapeutic and creative and aren't they intermingled anyway)of 'writing it out of the system and onto the page'. I say a big 'YESSS' to all of it! Splurging is good!ReplyDelete
I'd be so interested to read your paper when it is available.
Thanks Ness - I love free writing but always feel guilty it's not getting me anywhere - clearly - it is! xReplyDelete
Splurging is such a great word. You can't possibly be careful if you're a splurger.ReplyDelete
So sorry to hear how ill you've been Ness.
Really thought-provoking post! Makes me think about how spontaneous things will sometimes drive our writing forward. I often tell myself I need to just trust the process, as bonkers as that feels when in the middle of it. Anyway, very glad to hear your writing pushed you back in your writing!ReplyDelete
Free writing (aka splurging) is just as important as just staring out of the window thinking through your plot twists and turns. Trouble is everyone else thinks we are doing nothing. I was talking to a friend yesterday about how I feel I now trust my gut instinct when writing and tend to follow it. It is a real liberation.ReplyDelete
This is the very advice you gave me a couple of months ago when I was starting The New Story and didn't know where I was or what I was doing. It worked brilliantly. I'm so glad it still works for you too! xReplyDelete
I remember saying that, I am so pleased it worked for you as well. They are never wasted words. I have often found surprisingly good phrases in my free writing that then find their way into my novel. How is the novel going Sue?ReplyDelete
22,000 words in. See? Your advice really does work!Delete
Oh Sue, that is fantastic. I am so happy it workedReplyDelete