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20151103PegsNovember is turning out to be a month of writing! Sometime in October I signed up for two Blogging University courses: Blogging 101 and Writing 101 – and then quite forgot to write myself a memo regarding their starting dates.

Some days later I had a flash of inspiration thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert and signed up to participate in Nanowrimo. I spent the next two weeks preparing for this and began on the 1st of November to write my first novel. It’s a challenge I’ve set for myself to help me get past some of the hangups and excuses I’ve been feeding myself for years now. It feels good to finally have the courage to make some headway.

On the 2nd of November I’m sure I groaned when my inbox filled up with emails with the Blogging and Writing 101 Course information! What a busy month it’s going to be, but I’m also quite sure that I’m meant to be writing. The time is now!

The one word prompt from Writing 101 that I have chosen today is HOME.

As I’ve mentioned previously, our family has recently moved from New Zealand to England. We’ve been here almost three months now and I can honestly say that I am feeling the most settled I have ever been. I feel like I’ve come home.

The last time I could have called England home (if I’d been old enough to be aware) was when I was a toddler. I was born in York in March 1978 to my married parents. Just months later my mother began an affair with a man who later became my step-father. My Dad had to say goodbye to me when I was only 7 months old as my mother was leaving England with her lover and returning to her homeland of New Zealand.

Within six months we returned to England and wandered about various communities before settling in Wales for a time. Dad was trying to get social welfare’s help for me, but my mother skipped the country against a court order before they could catch up with her. I was 23 months old.

A lot has happened in the intervening years and I am now starting to write about it. The 9th of November, 1978 was the last time I saw my Dad (or rather, he saw me) and apart from a very brief visit in September 1998 I didn’t see him again until September 2014. We spent 10 days with him then and had such a healing and special time together that after all the years we have missed out on I knew it was not nearly enough.

I’m so grateful to have a husband who has been willing to make the huge move around the world so that I can be near my Dad. It feels so good to finally be able to spend real time getting to know him. I believe that subconsciously I always knew that someone very important was missing from my life and that I was always searching to find what I’d lost. Dad is very precious to me now and he is a very big part of why I’ve been feeling so much like I’ve come home.

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Magical Words

I am currently reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book ‘Big Magic’. And what a book it is! In one week I have gone from a long-term wannabe writer to actually writing. I have begun this blog – so what if it’s only for my eyes while I get going?! I have signed up today for Naniwrimo, something I’ve been wanting to do for 3-4 years! In preparation for Naniwrimo I’ve begun reading ‘Writing the Breakout Novel’ by Donald Maass, a book I have owned for about 6 months and which was on my wish list for about 3 years before that.

Elizabeth writes about Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust and Divinity. In reading through the first four so far I have found that Elizabeth is systematically dismantling all the excuses I’ve been fooling myself with for years.

I’ve been afraid. I’ve allowed the fear of not being good enough to hold me back from working towards a dream I’ve held since childhood. I’ve been inspired time and time again to write. I’ve started out many times, excited, passionate and with good intentions. Elizabeth talks about that too – cycles. I now know that my fears won’t go away, but I can move past them…up to those old sticking points and beyond.

So I’m choosing to move beyond fear. I’m choosing to be afraid and write anyway. It doesn’t have to be good, I just have to write. In the writing I will get better, in the writing I will begin to believe I can and in the believing I can, I will.

Thank you, Elizabeth Gilbert, for having the courage to write through your fears. Thank you for writing about ideas and geniuses and inspiration…and for giving me the permission to write. I am very grateful for the words in Big Magic. They are magic for me.