Saturday, 5 November 2011

forgetting to blog

I'm laying 'forgetting the time' to rest.

To be fair, I've been having a rest from it for a few months now, with the occasional post. But, the truth is, I'm forgetting to blog.

Originally 'forgetting the time' was a writing blog, a space for my writing, others writing, books, readings and other literature events, and to explore my inspiration. As time has gone on, I've written blog posts that have covered all different areas of my life from depression to redundancy to films and plays to friendships. Sometimes, I've written blog posts that on reflection seem far too raw and personal. But, then some friends have commented that these are the ones they like the best.

I'm nearing the end of 2011, and life is less about writing sadly, and more focused on just day-to-day life. I seem to have less and less to say about writing and even the allotment is dying back for the year now, so a lot of my inspiration is hibernating.

I've written this blog since December 2008 and have written 284 posts (285 counting this one). I'm not sure whether it's the end or just time for a break.

When I started out as a writer, I had huge ambitions to write a novel, to get published, and to BE a writer (whatever I thought that meant). Over past years, I have had some publications, I've not written a novel, but I've written stories and prose poems and letters and poetry. I used to feel I might die if I wasn't a writer, I felt as if I was meant to be a writer and if I couldn't be then it was a catastrophy. But, now I'm more realistic. I've no agent, no novel, not much promise of publishing a book, and to be honest I'm on the peripheries of every part of the writing world.

Recently, I went to a couple of writing events, and saw people I've met many times at readings and workshops etc, even had lunch. I said hello and was talked to politely as if I didn't really belong there.

So, I haven't been to writing events recently, wanting to avoid some of the charade about it. I dislike the way someone reads and people say great, wonderful, loved it, whether they mean it or not. I hate the way sometimes, people who know me, don't say hello or even acknowledge they even met me before. And I hate the way at these events some of the interaction is on such a superficial level.

There are many exceptions. I have a small number of friends who are also writers and they always inspire me. I love meeting with them and talking, and I love reading their work. And there are a mass of writers around me who I don't know very well, but I admire.

Maybe I'm just tired. But, my experience has been that it's difficult to find a place for myself as a writer. I often feel socially awkward amongst other writers, even though I feel socially confident in the rest of my life. I often feel as if I don't fit in, as if there is some big club that I don't have enough merit to join, and sometimes when I do get a little positive feedback I'm not sure whether this is genuine or the kind of crap I see going on between other writers... you pat my back and I'll pat yours.

Obviously, I'm being a little catty.

There are many people who have been supportive of my writing, who have followed my blog, bought my chapbook, come to readings and given me inspiration. I feel very lucky to have shared conversations, ideas, enthusiasm and I'm grateful for all the opportunities I've been given.

But, I feel it's time to retreat for a while. I will still write, explore ideas, feel inspired and creative, but I need to retreat from the writing world. It feels like too harsh a place, and not as friendly as I might like.


sonia said...

I will miss your blogs. I'm glad that you will still be writing. The person who follows the crowd goes no further than the crowd. She who walks alone walks the furthest. I wish you all the best.

Tania Hershman said...

I'm really sorry to hear this and hope that there are pockets of the writing world where you feel good. I do understand how you feel, though, it's a fairly tough business in many ways - probably in the same way as every field of endeavour, there are positives and negatives. And I think retreating is always a good idea. Regroup, think, be kind to yourself. We look forward to having you back!

Anonymous said...

You seem to me like a beautiful person and I wish you lots of peace and joy to come. I've enjoyed your blog, have always read it since you reviewed my first poetry collection, felt your writing came from the heart. Enjoy the stepping back, the retreat, your true friends in the writing world will wait to welcome you back. Eileen x

annie clarkson said...

Thanks Tania and Sonia, you've both been ever so supportive and inspiring! x

annie clarkson said...

Hi Eileen, I had no idea you read my blog, thanks for your lovely words, so appreciated x

Anonymous said...

I hope you keep up your blog, Annie! I have your chapbook and loved it. I even have felt inspired to publish my own pamphlet of short shorts.

I know what you mean about not wanting to be involved in the cliquish part of writing. A lot of the writing biz is about who you know.

It sounds like you have some good writing friends. I hope they are enough for you. Your writing has been discovered all the way over here in the US! I hope you continue to consider yourself a writer, because you are one.

PeterB said...

Hey annie, I'm sorry you've stopped blogging, but if it feels like time to stop or take a break then that's the right thing. I haven't read every blog but I've got something worth having from every blog I've read. To me you're a real writer, and one of the most original voices and generous spirits of all the writers I've actually met and spent time with. Take care and don't disappear - just noticed you've vanished from FB… PBxx

annie clarkson said...

Thanks Christine, that's really kind of you... Am still writing, writing more than ever!

And Peter, thank you, I won't disappear for ever A, x