Losing the muse…On writing

When I was a young teenager I used to love writing so much. I wrote everything from diary entries, to a romance novel, to poetry to a sit-com! My mum was a journalist of sorts and both my mum and dad went to, what was, The London School of Printing (my dad was a graphic artist) so when it came time to decide what to do after school ended I was thoroughly encouraged to apply for a course in journalism at (then) The London College of Printing (now The London College of Communication). I duly applied, was accepted for the interview/testing day and was put through a series of gruelling challenges and an interview which weeded out the less able and was (thrillingly!) accepted onto a two-year Btec HND in periodic journalism.

I enjoyed my time on the course although a lot of what we learned became very quickly obsolete (measuring up a page layout by hand!) just pre-dating the technological revolution (this is back in the early 90s). However out in the real world I found it frustrating and impossible to get the kind of job which I had dreamed of. Technical periodicals were too boring; women’s magazines drove me mad with their recycled material and patronising tone; and I just didn’t consider myself political or intelligent enough for hard news.

In the end I threw in the towel and headed back to full time education, opting for a four year BA in American Literature at Sussex University (American? I hear you ask… well it did include a year Stateside so why not??!). Writing took a distinctly academic turn for me at this point (obviously) and there is a huge gulf between writing off the cuff in a journalistic style and writing planned and cerebral arguments on facets of literature.

I got a little taster of being back in the journalistic saddle round about the turn of the millennium when I got a fabulous opportunity to write and edit the children’s commercial book website The Book Monster which was affiliated to The BookPlace – a site competing with Amazon (on the book front) in the UK. This was a fun and fulfilling highlight of my working life as it also gave me the opportunity to learn some HTML and get an understanding of web structure.

Since that time I have really lost my writing muse as there has been no real outlet until now. With this blog I have begun to enjoy the fact that I can write what I want in any way I choose. I’d like to think that what I have to say is of interest to someone out there but it is quite difficult to gauge in anyway when you get so few comments! I realise that the downside of blogging within any given niche is that your potential audience has literally thousands of other blogs and posts to choose from and this whole social networking is bloody hard work trying to make the magic happen!

Coming back from holiday I have really let it slide for the last week or so as I haven’t been able to find the time or motivation to string a thought together – let alone a thought interesting enough to share with others in an entertaining way!

I’ve just looked through some of my old poetry and wanted to share a bit to find out if I ever really did have a talent for this…To be honest the only one I’m happy to share is this:

Birds of Prey

We drop from the sky and we come in for the kill
we never lose that feeling
the adrenaline, the thrill
the sound of the echoing death cry,
the mixture of the mortal
and immortal so appealing

Our meaning in life,  our purpose, our love,

is not for one another but for our prey
we have the power
and we never need suffer

we haunt by night and we shimmer by day

There isn’t a moment
we don’t feel the wind,
the rain and the moon,
rarely seen through the clouds,
is our brother, unearthly, immortal kin
shining through at last
like a final shroud.

Perhaps this is how it feels to be falling, slowly, deliciously, towards the rocks,
chilling, the speed at which everything changes,
a feeling closer to madness than shock,
omitting the thought that this should be appalling,
like a book omitting its final pages.

Yet we have the power of self preservation, gliding and stalling in frantic turns,
swooping and spiralling with such grace

and we have so little left to learn that our movements will seem like a practiced formation

our fatal blow, a majestic embrace.

Seems I definitely had the muse once…


9 thoughts on “Losing the muse…On writing

  1. What a lovely poem! Keep your chin up. I thought up a quote for my blog the other day, although I’m sure I’m not the first to say something along these lines. ‘Blogging is fabulous. No matter how insignificant what you write is, someone somewhere will find some significance in it, which for most parts is a great tool to have.’ So keep up the good work and try not to be deflated. x

  2. I’ve always found it difficult to find something to write about. It’s so time consuming too. That’s the dilemma, trying to find time to live in order to trigger the thoughts to write about, and also the time to do the writing itself.

    You should definitely write some more though and I’d love to read more. Do you think you’ve changed in focus from when you used to write?

    • Thanks Denise! I’ve definitely changed in focus for this blog because its supposedly a parenting blog! I’ve just been writing childhood memories, musings on aspects of parenting, things that have happened in recent life. Nothing that could be called ‘creative’ writing really.

      • Do ya think that’s where your heart is? We change don’t we! It’s so interesting to look back and see the people we were… that’s what I’m hoping I’ll be able to do with my blog in years to come. I am a useless diary keeper, but this whole interacting with other people kind of diary keeping that is blogging – I like that.

        I also think there are probably loads of us who have children and still have creative dreams.

  3. Its where my heart is right now I think. The blog is a fantastic way to re-connect mentally with who I am and who I was and also a lovely shared journal of aspects of my children’s early years. Its nice to be able to have a forum to practice the writing skills as well just in case any kind of writing career could ever be established at some point in the future.
    An unexpected benefit has definitely been to connect with like-minded people who are going through the same things – you can never have too many friends!

  4. We have a lot in common I think. With our love of writing from an early age etc but how we both kind of went off track with it. I too find it hard to keep up the blogging momentum – and I’m also crap at keeping up with other people’s blogs so sorry I haven’t popped by and commented recently. You are doing really really well. Keep at it!

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