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My Work

Letting Go Of What Used To Work


Happy Monday folks! How was your weekend? Mine included a lot of alone time. A LOT of alone time. TOO MUCH alone time? I thought that was going to be the case, but actually, I rallied and found that if you change your frame of mind, some serious alone time can be very good for the soul.

I like to think I'm pretty good at spending time alone. I've had plenty of practice over the years. What with friends living in far flung parts of the country, and before the Young Man there was no guy on the scene. I still live alone, meaning that I spend at least a couple of nights a week to myself. And most weeks I crave that time. Working on the type of people-centric projects that I do, sometimes I need time to gather my thoughts.

It used to be that this time would be spent journaling. Long prose, by hand in a pretty notebook. These were the times when I would write a million and one ideas for shows, or short stories. I'd fill a notebook in a matter of months, weeks, if I was going through a particularly creative period. This was always when I felt most inspired, when it was just me and the age, but the truth is, that I haven't felt that way, for probably a year and half now.


I still love a good notebook. I'm still an avid note taker. But I haven't journaled in a truthful way for the longest time. I haven't dedicated myself to a single notebook since 2015. I've become a serial notebook dater, never finding the right one to settle down. I thought the pages were the problem. The lines too narrow ruled, the cover too easily stained, my pen too easily blotting the paper. But the problem has never been with the notebook it's been with me.

I've been clinging on to a method that used to work, refusing to admit, that it no longer does the job. To every new notebook I brought my history with me. Of feeling frustrated because I no longer could write in the way that I used to. I'd board a train and expect to have 5 pages filled by the end of the line, only to rach my stop without having made a single mark.

The thing is, I see my notebook as part of my identity. I know that statement paired with the relationship metaphor I have started, may appear a little dramatic but I have boxes full of notebooks filled with my personality, my ideas, my hopes. The fact that I could no longer fill a notebook with that kind of energy and creativity, made me feel like it was because I no longer had that energy or creativity.

But that just isn't true.

I just needed a new outlet. A new method. Like a painter who has forever used oils, might suddenly find themselves wanting to try watercolours. They are still an artist, just their tools have changed.

I was holding on to something that no longer worked for me. Like I was doing with this blog. Limiting myself to a box, telling myself that if I didn't create in this way, then I couldn't create at all. Which of course is ridiculous.

We all grow and change, our writing voice ages, our friendship groups shift. It can be hard to let go of these things, especially when we haven't even realised they were slipping into our past.

I still love notebooks. I NEED a to do list to function. But hours of waxing lyrical by hand while sat in a coffee shop just doesn't work for me in the same way it used to. The fact is, if I need to work something through, I still need to write it out, but often the thoughts come faster than my pen can keep up, so I've swapped to a keyboard. I love having a notebook by my side, but it's unlikely you'll find an entire script in there anymore. Instead it's likely to be ideas jotted down to be expanded on later.

I am still a writer, and my tools haven't changed all that much. You'll still find a notebook, a pen, and words in my handbag I just use them in a slightly different way.

Whether it is your art, your blog, or your friendships, holding on to what used to work, might feel like you're saving something, but it is also holding you back. You have to gradually loosen your grip, let those things move around, you might find that they don't disappear for good, they just rearrange themselves.

And letting something go, doesn't mean that one day you can't come back to it, if it turns out it was right for you all along, it will be there waiting for you x

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