Writing in my head

Back at the start of the year, I set myself three posts a week. It still feels the right amount.

Enough to keep me writing, thinking – enough space for the other things going on at the moment.

You may have surmised that Lit Kid is not exactly writing itself, but that’s where it’s flowing most. Some Fridays, while I wait in a cafe for sports class to be done, I sit and write a list of what I might turn into a Lit Kid blog post.

So far, pretty much all the Lit Kid posts this year have come out of their own circumstances, rather than off a list. So not to say that the list will be ignored – more that there are plenty of good kids’ books out there, and plenty to write about.

For the rest, it’s harder to be sure. Some weeks, a circumstance comes along and I write about it (sickness bug week, for example).

Other times, I sift what’s happening, try to decide what is noteworthy. What I might put in front of you.

In the past, I would write blog posts in my head on the way to school pick-up – and that still happens. They don’t necessarily all come out word for word the same, when I get to the keyboard, but something of the fresh air and space and exercise seems to help the writing process.

Recently, I realised it was happening in other places too. By the kettle, waiting for the next heated beverage of the day. (This can be, and often is, combined with shovelling things in or out of the dishwasher, while waiting for the kettle to boil.)

I’m not sure what to make of this. Is it a sign that the writing is able to jump out at a moment’s notice? Or am I overly worried about what I have to say to you – whether it’s blog-worthy?

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Some of you may join me in having conversations in your head. They are usually the ones where you are worried about the outcome, a bit defensive maybe.

You write the script in advance so you can say what you really feel – whether or not that’s borne out by the actual conversation you have.

(Sometimes, of course, we don’t have the real conversation – we bail out. But we tell ourselves that’s what we would say, if push came to shove.)

I don’t think it’s like that. I’m not arguing with you – maybe forming a line of argument, on occasion, if the lit crit fancy takes me.

I may be arguing with myself about what is relevant to say. My voice, narrating the living of my life, day by day, lunchbox by packed lunchbox.

Against me, the more critical voice, querying whether what I have to say is valid; interesting; well-written, even. I can’t answer that. (I can look at analytics for the blog, and gain some ideas, but it’s still guesswork.)

What it boils down to is that I don’t see any reason to invoke the inner critic when I write. Various times here on the blog, I’ve written about this being a place for me to have fun when I write.

I still believe that. More so, given my notions of early retirement. There is enough good living to be done, and enough writing that captures that spirit of enjoying life, enjoying the craft of working the words.

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So the narrator will tell you that there is more clearing out going on. Some of it is bringing me to rethink how I relate to information, and how I store it. I might write about that at some point, but not just now.

There are moments big and small. There are completed star charts, and prizes of exciting pencils from the school’s stash of ‘well done’ items.

There is sampling of water chestnuts for the first time. Learning more about the inner workings of clients’ organisations, with my copywriter hat on.

There is exploration of how to draw faces with more details. The ending of one chapter book at bedtime; the beginning of another, and the fast and frantic finale of the one I get to read out loud if we’ve finished tea early.

There is the finishing up of a box set (Mad Men Season 6, if you’re interested), and some further exploration of G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown short stories. (I might just do myself some lit crit of books for grownups too, in time.)

There is the exploration of how many pairs of jeans have holes, and where, and how many might reasonably be patched. And by whom.

These are good things. These are life just now. They seem so frail sometimes, when I spin them out before you on the keyboard. Nothing of significance.

Nothing, except the amazement of daily life. And the repetition. And both again, together, filling each other’s spaces.

This is really what I want to tell you about. It’s the discovery of new worlds, and the familiarity of the kettle being put on again. One is nothing without the other.

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