Not Writers Block

I was going to post about rituals, and I was going to postabout the equinox in the southern hemisphere, which is always chaotic, and alsothe Autumnal equinox, cause I do like to remind those in the northern hemispherethat it’s not spring time in the world but AUTUMN down here in New Zealand.*coughs* but instead I am going to post about my day.  
Today was a most excellent day, I had cups of tea with afellow Witch, and we had one of those awesome rambly conversations that covereda myriad of topics, lasted several hours and left me feeling very full. One of thetopics that we discussed was in essences, the amount of interesting somewhatacademic knowledge that I have in my head and why I am not writing aboutit.  It is this part of the conversationthat made my ears perk up in that way it does when you know that you should belisten to this. When you just know that it is something important here.  
Actually that very topic was a part of todays’ rambly conversation,that picking up on what was said and topics that were covered because they havehidden meaning.  Perhaps it is why I havepicked up on not just the writing aspect but also several other topics, whichneed further contemplation.    
Often whenyou get the chance to spend time with fellow Witches and take part in a rambly conversationover several hours, there is something or several something’s, in thatconversation that needs to be  paidattention to and sometimes it can take several days or weeks for what it is tocome out.  Other times like today it cantake the walk home and a conversation with your inner voices to figure it outthat there is something more here, and it now needs your attention.  
You see a little while ago I was asked by two wonderfulCanadian stoics, if I would write/finish my thesis which is on Modern PaganBooks from 1954 to the present day, and by Pagan I mean mostly Wiccan. A littlewhile ago I was put in touch with a person who is editing a book about Southernhemisphere Paganism and I offered to write a chapter on New Zealand PaganHistory. I offered but have not finished said chapter.  I have started writing and have several pagesof notes and a whole bunch of research but have not yet finished it.  Today I was asked again why I was not writingabout New Zealand Pagan history as it was important information that is currentlylocked away in my head and really should be shared.   
Well why have I not done this, three times, a charm somewould say, and I have been asked three times to write something on topics that Iam very familiar with and topics that I have researched into for years.  I ran away from university because I wasunable to write, or, believed I was unable to write and therein lies the issue.That topic that has been prompted so strongly during todays rambly conversationwith a fellow Witch.    A part of me still believes that I am unableto write, despite, earning a degree, which was mostly writing, and a blog whichI am now updating regularly.  As of todayI am beginning to understand more about why this is.  Let me explain.  You see I am dyslexic, and all through primary and secondary school I was told Iwas lazy and stupid, and often if you are told something enough times it getsin.

  What I am now coming to realise is, thatsort of long term programming gets in really deep, on a subconscious level,because I can also remember loving to write when I was at started school, notfor class but for fun.  At high schoolwhen I was about 14 or 15 I wrote, what today would be considered fanfic aboutRobin Hood from the TV series Robin the Hooded Man.  Me and my best friend used to write and thenread each other’s stories.  We wrote withred pens and on the Mighty Jotter Pad, the one with the big pink elephant onthe cover.. gosh..

The other reason is to do with how I was brought up, you seeI am from a blue collar working class family, and things like writing or sittingdown to write where not done.  Ok so it’snot like I was yelled at or anything and it certainly was not a malleolus thingbut has I have gotten older and seen how other families work, I have come tothe realisation that my family were not accustom to sitting still, and if youwere sitting still, be that reading a book, or writing on a jumbo jotter pad inred pen then obviously you had nothing to do thus jobs were found that could bedone.  These jobs where more physical innature.  Crafts were fine, knitting,sewing, crocheting, digging, cooking, household chores and the like and to adegree reading, although that was generally reserved for night/eveningtime.  But writing, that was forhomework, not for hobbies, or for time that could be spent better by doingchores, or so it seemed.  Of courseviewing this with adult yes things are viewed clearer now.  It was not that my parent did not want me todo well at school, it was more that doing physical things while at home wasmore important than sitting down and writing, be those physical things knittingand sewing, digging the garden or doing house hold chores.  
At the time it was just how it was, but also at the time itwas a distraction from writing as such.  Iknow this because I just went down stairs and asked my flatmate if I could helpwith dinner,  but actually I amwriting.  And while she said nar she isfine, it comes back to that if you are sitting down writing as I am doing then obviouslyI have nothing to do thus should find something physical do to, like sewing orcooking, or digging the garden or helping my flatmate cook… Very curious orshould that be obvious?  
Obviously there is a block, obviously there is reprogrammingthat is needed, obviously, very obviously, consciously even, but it has notbeen until today that I have made that connection, that connection between believingthat I am unable to write, the programming that got in, and the excuses that I havebeen making to myself as to why I can’t write and how that all fitstogether.    Most often I tell people that I speak notwrite but actually I can write, and oddly or not so oddly I write like I speak,which isn’t a bad thing, it’s a style thing. And I have found that if I go read aloud what I have written then I cando a pretty ok job about editing it, and today I am starting to realisethis.  Realise that yes I can write andthat yes I have something important to say with my writing, it is a part of whyI have started this blog and am making an effort to update it weekly, so that Iwrite something every week so that I can fall into a rhythm of writing in a regularway, so that I can realise that I can actually write and that my writing is worthwhile.  
This will be my work for the week, actually probably for thenext few months to continue to realise that yes I can actually write, that I writelike I speak and that’s ok, good even, makes it easier to read a friend hastold me, and that despite whether or not I get this chapter finished on NewZealand Pagan history in time to email to the editor, doesn’t actually meanthat I should not write it.  Becauseactually I can write, and actually I do write and it is not idle time it iswriting time.  
 PS: if you would like to suggest edits, or point out where the spelling of any of my posts is squiff then please do so, you can leave a comment or contact me on my email urbanwitchery@gmail.com  i am always happy for help in that aspect. !!
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8 thoughts on “Not Writers Block

  1. Cultivate your own personal micro-culture Polly. Surround yourself as you do with like minds and people who grew up with a different value system than your own. One perhaps that viewed writing and art as worthwhile pursuits and dare I say it "work". Do what you love, let this be your mantra, and fuck that little voice from your past that says otherwise.

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  2. We share the same affliction my sweet Polly-with-a-y. Same family attitudes to the creative mind with the accompanying core beliefs. We've lived with it for so long we fear the loss of it and we wonder who we will be without it. I still struggle enormously but I know now that it was never true and it was never mine to take on. It belonged to somebody else's fear of judgement. Gradually I'm starting to entertain the thought that by hiding my own light – I illuminate nothing. So this year, I am learning to say…..'bite me' literally – to the unnecessary negativity from both my own conditioning and the occasional attempt by family to reinforce old ways and keep me where I'm pliable.I have also learnt about the 'social pottery mindset' and why it so important to keep. The habit of being creative simply because it gives you joy. Amongst the educated – it's frowned upon and seen as hobbyish and amateurish but we discard it to our detriment. It's an attitude that keeps our creative well charged and healthy. We can indulge in it regardless of whether or not we're working in a formal or an informal context. I'm happy to say that I have had some success with these new ways of being and hopefully in 18 months I'll be able to show you some solid results.

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  3. yeah that do what you love mantra a most excellent one.. maybe i need a wee bell to.. just to reinforce the good *grins*..also thank you for your thoughts and comments.. wee comments.. *beams*

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  4. yes, that generation of kiwi culture very similar, and on the one hand while they wanted the best often believed that what was best for them was best for you.. but not so much.. one of the sometimes difficult things with this can also be is that they meant the best and wanted the best for you.. so yeah tricky.. i have learned however to say "actually that is not what i want" or in my aunties case," aunty i disagree with you and this is why" *grins*.. am looking forward to seeing your solid results in 18 months.. *wheee and glee*Polly

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  5. I'm sure you know from reading the Pagan academic books out there that they are generally written in a more friendly style, with less stuffy academic terminology while still obviously being very important and informative. I think your work would fit into that perfectly, based on reading your blog. Good luck facing & climbing over your hurdles. Finding and acknowledging them is usually the hardest part! I believe you have important knowledge to share. 🙂 Writing IS work but it's GOOD work. 🙂

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