Can I tell you something?
I’m nervous to, because this may emerge and bite me on the arse when I prove – yet again – that I don’t finish what I start. But I’ll take that chance, because, well, I like you and want to share this.
I am in the (very) beginning stages of writing a novel. Yes, I know, a novel – how cliche.
Everyone has a story to tell and I feel mine bubbling away, just under the surface. It’s been splashing water in my eyes for six months, trying to get my attention. And now, for whatever crazy, internal reason, I am sitting up and listening.
I aim to finish the first draft by Christmas and am currently about, oh, 2% of the way there.
I am excited. Really excited. I have been devouring every piece of information I can get my hands on about writing, writers and our particular brand of crazy. I am a woman obsessed.
But What About Slow Your Home?
Last weekend, I took a much needed night away and spent many of the following 24 hours writing. It was wonderful. It was my own writers/sanity retreat.
But something was not quite right. Something was niggling away in the back of my head, making me anxious. I couldn’t quite work it out. I started to get nervous.
And then I realised what was worrying me: I was afraid.
I was fearful that I’d have to choose between writing here and writing my novel. Fearful that I couldn’t possibly do both.
I didn’t want to give up either of them. Not this blog I love so much, and not this story I am aching to tell.
I love writing here. I love talking with you and learning from you and occasionally helping you when you need it. I love what we’re achieving together. But I couldn’t see how I could manage both this and the novel – they are so different.
Thank God for Books
Quite by accident, on Sunday I discovered the most beautiful, funny, useful book I have ever read. ‘Bird By Bird’ by Anne Lamott.
If ever you’ve thought about becoming a writer, if you’re a blogger, or even just a very avid reader – a fan of the craft of writing – then this book is absolutely unmissable.
(In fact, along with Joshua Becker’s ‘Simplify‘ and Steven King’s ‘On Writing‘, it is one of the books that has absolutely changed my life.)
Anne has some incredible things to say, but the one that struck me – smack-bang in the middle of my forehead – was this:
“Writing is about learning to pay attention to the world – and you have to slow down to do that.”
Doesn’t That Idea Sound Familiar?
It is exactly what we’re all about here. (We being you and me).
We want simplicity, peace, contentment and joy.
We need to learn how to slow down, how to simplify, how to get organised.
You need to learn these things so you will have time and space for the things that light you up, for the people you love, the passions you hold.
And here I was thinking I had to choose between writing this blog and writing my novel.
But, dear lovelies, these two are the perfect counterpoint to each other. The first is what I feel passionate about – we need to slow down, drink in life in all its beauty and terror – and the second will benefit so greatly from doing exactly that. So much so that I can’t see how I could do one without the other.
I will, however, be writing a little less here. I Can’t Do Everything, after all. You will find new posts each and every Monday and Thursday. And they’ll be bloody good too…
But I simply need time to get through another, oh, 58,000 words or so. Give or take.
So thank you in advance for your understanding and for all the incredible support you give me and this community we’re building together. And if you don’t want to miss a thing, make sure to subscribe to the mailing list here.