Writing · Writing advice

Now that the excuses are out of the way…

Or how I’ve never been able to keep a diary.

My intentions when starting this blog were to get myself writing again while keeping myself occupied after the upcoming hernia repair. I’ve never been able to keep a diary for very long. Whenever I tried it in the past (and maybe someone who is reading this has had a similar experience) I start the year having told myself I will log each and every day regardless of how mundane. If I had actually kept with that by now I would have volumes of journals detailing every tiny aspect of my life. In reality, I have a few desk diaries and notebooks that have the first 2 – 3 pages filled then nothing but blank lines.

My travel journals are the most damning pieces of evidence against my failure to commit regularly to properly recording even my most eventful days. Several pages describing in depth the outward journey from leaving the house to arriving at the destination complete with everything and everyone I found intriguing. Then, once I was there and having spent a whole day on my feet, bed was more of an appeal than sitting at a desk in the hotel room and keeping myself awake for another hour writing. The shame.

It seems that holidays and other momentous instances, the smartphone has removed the need to properly journal my memories over the last few years. See something cool, it’s become easier to snap a photo of it which can be shared on social media than to actually make the effort to write why I liked it or what it made me feel.

I got my first ever car a few months ago. An event very diary worthy. Instead, I took pictures of it that I then put up on Facebook and Twitter. In a year’s time, Timehop will remind me the day I got it by showing me those posts. It will also remind me it was the same day I was at the hospital getting an ultrasound.

The only things I ever wrote, before this blog, concerning **** were a letter and a poor attempt at poetry which were both delivered to her, by hand, in cards. It never seemed right to write about her but it’s been suggested to me after my first post on here that not only should I, but she should be a character in stories. We shall see.

I’m also finally getting used to typing once again directly on my laptop keyboard. The USB keyboard I used for writing (and playing Rift and World of Warcraft) is still in ****’s possession. I just seemed to type faster and more accurately on that keyboard with it’s raised keys than on this one.  She must have thought the same, which was why she wanted to borrow one to practice touch typing during our brief reconciliation when she was looking for a new job.

What I have from her, besides a gift from a couple of Christmases ago which was genuinely touching, thoughtful and meant a lot to me, are the contents of a keepsake box. An item from the first day I ever met her. The key to her house (where she now no longer lives). Little souvenirs from days out. The wrapper from a chocolate we shared. The sea shell her daughter gave me for luck. Silly little mementos that to most would be rubbish fit for the bin.

The only time this blog will be daily, I hope, is when I am in recovery. Until that time just once a week or so will be ample for me. It does feel like such a cheat. Writing about how little I write, or have written in the past. But it’s getting words out even if they are just inane ramblings. It’s helping. I don’t want journaling or blogging to be just about remembering “stuff”. I want it to help inform my writing. Help me find a voice, a character, a plot, a location.

I want it to make me a better writer.



5 thoughts on “Now that the excuses are out of the way…

  1. Very handy ideas !!
    Thanks extremely a lot. It actually is a fellow feeling when i’m reviewing a blog post like yours.
    I’m so happy I discovered your blog, your writing is truly excellent. Not everybody composes for the very same factor, however your own is actually amazing.
    Terrific pointers as well as great article overall!
    Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha! I know the feeling when it comes to this one. (The meaning to write thing.) Although as a kid I was religious about writing daily, but now I scribble notes and…am guilty of the snapshot era via my phone. *hangs head in shame* giggles

    Point here, is it’s another great read that gets the thoughts going Stephen!

    Fun one again!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. 2017 is when I want to try and get myself back into doing more creative things, and challenging myself too, and writing was one of those challenges, so your blog posts are going to be handy over the next few months! I hope you recover smoothly and quickly from your operation too, and I can’t wait to hear how your writing adventures turn out! – Tasha

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s a sign of the times. You’re not the only one more likely to snap a photo and post it to social media and then relive those memories when they pop up in the feed. It seems handwriting and journaling are a thing of the past. Sad though. It’s worth trying to keep it a daily practice. Best of luck with it. 🙂


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