Revelations of a Notebook

The following guest blog was posted by the elusive Lindsey who not only loves to write, but needs to write. She was unable to make the inaugural meeting of the club and this is now in the guest slot in the hope that she contacts us. Mystery Blogger, Come in from the Cold…we can help you.

‘I wanted to share this that I found this evening. http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/writers-notebooks/ – I hope this might work as a link and save a few Ctrl C, Ctrl Vs. Either way, as a writer, you should look at that page.

It has inspired me to comment on your website. And accept that my modus operandi (or is it: operandum?) of writing is not so different to other writers, but how would I have known before? Only my children really know the extent of the chaos which surrounds my need to help the words escape and I know little of other writers’ methods. I had never really considered the subject until tonight.

How do you write? Longhand, computer, haphazardly, super-organised, on parchment and with a quill, perhaps? Could we all share our notebooks or glimpses thereof? I feel I need to know, now, how others write. Not the words nor the discipline, but the method, the hardware….. the biros you use.

These photos of notebooks led me to a moment of introspection. After all, it is the Equinox and a time of change, seasonally if not spiritually. And I’ve just arrived here so I feel new, naive, nervous. And I am homesick, but not for home, nor friends, nor family, although I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss them. (And they might read this)…….No, I miss, painfully, a vast wodge of paper I left behind. Said a forever goodbye to.

On finally moving out of my house last year – which I rented out on Facebook after meeting up with a long-lost old friend and imbibing a bottle of wine whilst looking at her most recent paintings – I had to say “adios” to over 10 years of scribblings. Reams and reams and reams of notes, ideas, moments of genius. (Or so I suspect and can hope, against hope but don’t know, not for sure and never will). Pages of captured meetings, memories, dark moments of self-doubt, and worse – half-written, unfinished, interrupted outpourings – what would those have led to? I can only wonder.. Where was that sentence going? Oh, the anguish at a lost thought.

Literally scores of black bin liners full of A4, envelopes, hurriedly ripped shreds of tree bark used to jot down my thoughts. All etched in multi-coloured biro, pencil and…. was that blood?

I went to a friend’s farm in Lancashire and there, with the help of Grandad, the firestarter and Boss, Mum and assorted grandchildren – pyromaniacs, all – we burnt every sheet, almost religiously ardent in our task, in a rusty, well-used and capacious iron firepit at the edge of the field, yet still in the garden to help the roses. And next to grandma’s grave because she loved fires too.

Now, I miss not only my writing and recalling how it changed with time, mood, even the colour of the biro, but also I miss my writings. What, oh what, have I lost through consignment to the flames? Yet, I had no choice. It all had to go. I could not move on with it, we were downsizing and lightening up. It was also downsized, reduced in bulk and weight, and then became embers, turning to grey, light, floating, flaking ash, thrown onto the roses and carried by the wind, drifting across the farmland to nurture future growth.

And in amongst that loss of mine and gain for the countryside I love, lies the inspiration for many more hours of an unstoppable, unexplainable force that is …how I write and the words which quite simply have to escape. I might stick to ink and pass on the blood from now on though.’

Lindsey
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