Dark matter

What does this writer do when she’s not writing on this blog?

OK, I’ll start again, because writing about myself in the third person feels decidedly icky!

If I’ve reinvigorated this blog, why aren’t I writing on here very often? You might well ask. I’m not resting on my laurels, far from it! Here’s what I’ve been up to (aside from my day job, because bills still need to be paid).

Back in 2014, I started writing a dystopian novel. I had a germ of an idea and then it became a project I wanted to take in a specific direction in honour of my late father who had died the year before. I made it too big, too important and in the end, I had to put the work to one side – I was in danger of writing myself into a breakdown.

A few more ‘life’ events happened – these things tend to hunt in packs, like rabid dogs or zombies, don’t they?

Here we are in 2020. I’ve dabbled on here a bit, but something made me pick up my abandoned half-formed thing and inspect it. Bit by bit, I started to see my way towards a finished project, and bit by bit, I finished the first draft – at 6.37am on 28th December 2019 to be precise. I gave myself a bit of a break and have now started my first edit. I’m excited to be at this point so unexpectedly quickly. All being well, I want to have edited and polished my novel sufficiently well to pass to beta readers by the end of this year.

Mixed in with that, a random idea has also borne fruit – it basically started with a question – I wonder if Instagram has a writing community? I posted a first image on 18th November – my feet photo that you see on this blog – and it’s snowballed pretty quickly. I’m somewhat stunned to have around 900 followers already! If you aren’t on Instagram I strongly encourage you to try it out – the community there is lovely. I’ve made some good friends over there.

So, there we are. That’s what I’ve been up to, as well as reading a lot.

If you want to pop over to Instagram and say hello, I’m @freyathewriter over there. May as well keep the theme going, right?

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Because it means something

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“… don’t just paint it red because you like red, or because that’s the only paint left in the store or whatever. Paint it red because it means something. And so every idea, every use has to have a meaning, as well as every cog and every screw.”

This is an extract from an interview with the author Sara Baume, which I read in the Spring 2016 edition of The Moth magazine. It was guidance given to her by a tutor when she was studying her art-based degree.

This really piqued my interest. I try to make every word count, try to excise the superfluous from my writing, but sometimes, I don’t quite manage it. I’m human, after all. Life (the non-writing part) sometimes interferes with my concentration and dedication. Oh, the perils of writing in your spare time – we all know it, right?

Sara Baume is the author of ‘Spill Simmer Falter Wither’ which is a fantastic book. I haven’t quite finished reading it yet, but I adore and admire it greatly. The Guardian describes it as ‘An atmospheric tale about the friendship between one man and his dog’. They are both outsiders, both not quite fitting into the world around them, both have ‘histories’ that shape who they are.

Perhaps I am enjoying it so much because I feel like a complete and utter outsider myself. I do catch myself thinking that unless I’m writing or creating art (a more recent rediscovery of mine), then I’m pretty much acting a part. That I’m not quite shaped for the world around me to fit in quite as I should.

That may be all in my head, but aren’t we all in our heads, to some degree or other?

The novel is lyrical, flows like a river, intriguing, painful, beautiful and heartfelt. And goodness me, the publisher (Tramp Press) made very few changes to the manuscript – such an achievement!

Anyway, choose red because it means something. That seems a decent guideline to live by.