…ski slopes, being at an uncomfortable party, a whale’s heart, cultural sights of Saigon and how to remove stubborn stains from a toilet bowl. I think a lot of being a writer is just being interested in things. Some are obviously more interesting than others; I’m not about to do a toilet bowl poem any time soon (or am I?), but being curious is an essential part of the desire to write and record. People are my natural resource, but the random things can also set my mind in the most curious direction, and connect with thoughts and feelings that’d otherwise go unnoticed.
On this basis, I need to set aside more time for research and reading. This is a challenge in many ways – brain fog means that taking in information is hard, so any serious reading takes a long time, and even longer if I try to remember stuff. My traditional method of learning and understanding is through making reams of longhand notes, before typing them up. At the moment all my typing energy has to go to proper (i.e. paid) work, so squeezing in research time as well as writing time is tricky. Organisation, and saying no to some things is going to be the answer – I’m at that stage I always reach in February where I feel like I haven’t quite got hold of the year. It’s a good goal to have though, and I’m hoping to figure out a way to build up my knowledge banks.
I also need to set aside time to go through my notes from Approaching your writing with a beginners mind. There’s a few pieces I want to develop and I think this is where a face to face group would really help me, just to have that interaction with other writers rather than feeling so isolated. It’s much easier to shove something away in a drawer when there’s no one to call you out on it. So perhaps that’s another goal – to get involved with a writing group. The EMDR therapy has done a lot to help with my social anxiety, and I feel like I might be able enjoy being part of group – possibly for the first time.