Monday, October 31, 2011

the twitter shitter

I've resisted a twitter account for years but with my new blog-venture I decided to create one. There's no denying twitter's usefulness for promoting and networking when you're blogging like (hopefully a whole lot of people) are reading.

For the first couple of weeks I kept my account really quiet, following only a blog buddy who was about to give birth, a couple of South Africans I'm interested in and my SIL. Then I went public with the blog and happily sought out all those people I'd been keen to follow on twitter for years, plus hosts of random parent bloggers, mothers and fathers - people I thought it would be useful to network with for the blog.

It's been a couple of months now and ... I can't say that I'm loving it.

I keep reading odes to twitter, articles about it's awesomeness, first hand accounts of how people's lives have changed, improved, benefited from tweeting.
But I still don't get it.

I know the basic tenet is that if you're not enjoying twitter then you're following the wrong people, and I definitely was doing that for a while there. I fell into that morbid fascination, like the early days of facebook, where I couldn't help myself reading every inane tweet, marveling at the utter crap people feel its relevant to share.
Just take a dump in cyberspace why don't you? No really here, I'll hold the loo roll.

And it left me with that same shitty feeling as wasting hours facebook stalking random wedding photos. Brain cluttered, slightly nauseated, majorly disappointed in my fellow humankind but mainly in myself for having even gone there.

I don't get the sharing random brain farts with 5000 mostly-strangers. I don't get the marvel at squeezing your thoughts and words into 140 characters (how is this a great talent unless you're in advertising or write for People magazine?). I don't get the people clearly tweeting throughout a social occasion or worse, outing with their kids.

I do get the advantages of business networking, sharing ideas and sounding out others on various topics. I do get the thrill of breaking news disseminating so quickly and effectively.
I have to admit to loving the hash-tag-of-descriptiveness #greatestthingsinceslicedbread.

But other than that? I'm tweetering on the brink of meh.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

on writing #1

I blog to write.

I love to write, I always have. For a number of years I lost touch with the astounding satisfaction it gives me but it was through this blog that I found my way back. And now it's kind of all I want to do.
And when I say all I want to do I'm being quite serious.

I have days when I wake at 4am and I wish, I long to be able to get out of bed, make tea and just write and write and write. I just know I'll produce great material in those moments. I can feel the flame, I can almost taste it, and to have to suppress the desire feels like a crime.
Like spending a sunny day indoors with the curtains drawn. Like eating 4 slices of toast just before Christmas dinner.

But I have to suppress it. I have to tell myself to go back to sleep because I know I need those last few hours before the girls wake up. They need me to get those few more hours sleep.
For if I succumbed to the muse and got up, even if I produced something of staggering genius in that time, the rest of our day would be foul, I know this. There would be tears and snapping and it would be all because I didn't enough sleep and that ... that also feels like a crime.

It's not fair on me to have to suppress this urge to write, it hurts me. But it's not fair on them to consciously jeopardise our day before its even started, that will hurt all of us.
I'm not really sure what the solution is.

The muse is not always that untimely, but the time just never seems to be right for her.
12 noon finds Stella asleep, me writing feverishly and then ack, 12.25 - school run!
3pm, I'm struck by inspiration, my fingertips start tingling, but there's just no way I can extricate myself from afternoon snack/play dough construction/planned trip to the park.
7.30pm, the girls are in bed, the muse hopefully pokes her head up, but I've a husband I've missed all day, my own dinner to savour with him in the quiet of the adult-only evening calm, bits and bobs to clear up and arrange for the morning and then maybe, just maybe, a couple of hours writing, when I'm tired and quite often at my least inspired.

It's not fair on me to have to suppress this urge to write, it physically hurts me. But I'm not really sure what the solution is.

But I may have found a place to look for it. In a stolen 15 minutes one afternoon recently I read this column from Literary Mama and have subsequently had enough light bulb moments to brighten up the gloom I'd started sinking into on this one.
Get this Molly, you're not the first 'literary mama' to feel like this. And duh, as with anything, there are books you can read, conversations you can have, resources you can use to help yourself find ways around your current dilemma.
By stepping back from the problem, viewing it from another angle, the way forward has become clearer.

Motherhood and writing, they're not so different really.

The kids, the muse, two equally willful and independent entities, neither very keen to be tamed, neither particularly concerned with making my life any easier.
Two currents running through my life which equally inspire me and throw me into despair, equally demanding and, when they work, ultimately rewarding.
Both forces which, realistically, require me to step up and lay the ground rules, be the parent, create the boundaries and live by them myself.

I have to ask myself why the muse chose to return now, in these arguably busiest years of my life. Where was she when I had spans of free time (or so it always seems when I remember the pre-baby years)?
Why wasn't I feverishly writing at 4am then?
Because I didn't have the inspiration I do now perhaps?
Could it be that these little creatures which seem to come between me and my writing now are the very reasons the urge to write is so strong within me?

I'm not done pondering this one, and I'm still not sure how to make more time to write. But write I must, it's becoming as essential as breathing, and I seem to be able to make time to do that everyday.

Monday, October 24, 2011

cackling smugly

My Main Man and I have been together for twenty years today.

I'll give that a moment to sink in ....

And yup, I'm putting it out there y'all. Two blogs, twitter, facebook, I'd sky-write it if I could afford it 'cos you know why?
It's fucking awesome.

But, of course, within a few minutes of putting it up on facebook I got a somewhat-snide, humourous but not-so-funny comment implying that I was a bit of a show-off. To which I say: uh, YEAH, I'm showing off here.
'Cos you know why?
It's fucking awesome.

I'm not saying I'm better than you. I'm not saying my life is perfect. What I'm saying is I am incredibly, remarkably, wonderfully lucky and proud.

So here I sit, it's Monday. I caved and collected antibiotics this morning to try and clear up the chest infection I've been fighting for nearly 3 weeks. My eyelash extensions are falling out taking the last remaining 10 real lashes with them. I'd love to arrange a Halloween party for the girls and their neighbourhood friends but I really can't muster the energy. I'd love to be writing something inspired and publish-worthy but instead I'm (apparently) gloating all over the internets that my life is so awesome.

Cough. Hack. Cackle.

No romantic getaway for us right now. No simultaneous massage, scuba-diving in tepid waters, no slap-up dinner out, not even a glass of wine for me as it turns out ... just the knowledge that we've known each other for ever, that we know all past and present versions of each other, that we love each other more now than ever before.
I think that's pretty good for a Monday.

Monday, October 03, 2011

in the eye of the beholder

Increasingly I realise that what most people think of you comes 98% from who they are. When someone considers you, they are doing so with the full weight of themselves behind the conclusions they draw.

This is why one never really knows what people think of you. Because every person who's ever met you has a different opinion.

Example: two women I met recently.
One (apparently) thinks I'm hilarious. A breath of fresh air. She asked if I was just naturally good at everything I do. There was an edge to the question.
The other thinks I'm a bit of a ditz. I think she thinks that blogging is really silly, I'm not saving lives or changing policy so really, what's the point?

I'm long past the stage where either opinion really impacted on me. This is not because I'm so sure of who I am that I shrug off others opinions, more because I actually never really know who I am anyway so how should anyone else?
But I did spend some time thinking about these two women, and working out what it was about them that made them think that about me.

It was an interesting process, and I came to some conclusions, but I guess I was just doing the same - viewing them through my eyes - so I'll never really know will I?

Julie wrote recently that growing up in a small town has made her overly concerned with wanting to please, wanting people to like her.
I too grew up in a small town but my experience was completely different. When one's family is singled out as the social pariahs, the liberal outcasts, the 'commies', one learns from pretty young not to give a fuck what others think.
And to compensate for that, for isolation is not something any human being really craves, its easy to nurture feelings of superiority, or at least, defensive self-confidence.

There's been a number of occasions in my life where someone has accused me of 'thinking I'm better than them'. I can be pretty judgmental, or maybe I should say unapologetic with my opinions, and I have often been criticised for it - even here - but I have always, always backed those thoughts or actions with the knowledge that they're mine, they come from me.
You may think I think I'm better than you, but if you're clever you'll realise that my thinking that is just that. My thinking, my eyes, carrying my baggage.

It's weight depends on how much of it you can see.