Thursday, 25 July 2013

FROG IN A BLENDER

I went dancing a few days ago.  The circumstances were unintentional.  I’m currently in the midst of an ‘exercise every day’ mantra, and was open minded when I studied my gym timetable.  I usually stick to combat and attack, but in the spirit of being adventurous; I decided to give dancercise a whirl.  The next morning I was punctual, and had time to indulge in a friendly conversation before the class began.  “It’s like a choreographed dance routine” one of my fellow attendees explained.  That’s when my confidence began to waver.

To help you understand, I’m the clumsiest person you will ever meet.  So much so, my nearest and dearest have nicknamed me ‘oops, sorry’ due to my constant apologies.  Don’t get me wrong, I can manage zumba, where curvy hips are as mandatory as the dance beat but precise, elegant routines?  I don’t have the skills and Kimberly Wyatt has nothing to fear.  However, despite my reservations and tummy flutters, I decided to stay.  In the first twenty minutes, I stumbled more than stepped, used my left instead of my right and laughed a lot.  At myself.  Gradually, I banished my inner control freak, ignored the curious stares and decided to go for it.

This reminded me of how I began writing.  I have wanted to write since childhood, but lacked the knowledge and confidence to explore it further.  After my bout with PTSD, I decided life was too short not to at least try.  I scoured the internet for days looking for advice.  Finally, stumbling upon a book that every writer should own; ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King.  This little gem is just shy of 400 pages; half a memoir and half no-nonsense advice.  It’s so good, I’ve lent my copy to numerous people and despite worn pages, underlined and highlighted sentences, it still takes pride of place on my bookshelf.  The writing is clear and profound; “read a lot, write a lot is the great commandment.”  This sentence singlehandedly moved me from procrastination to action.
Reading was not an issue.  I’m an avid reader, incapable of leaving the house without my current book or Kindle in transit.  The writing began with awkward baby steps.  I started off with poems and short stories; some okay, some good and some awful.  It didn’t matter, because I learned from every word I wrote.  That if I wanted to realise my dream writing is exactly what I had to do.  Now it’s impossible for me to go a day without it, if I do, my characters get annoyed with me and literally chip away at my head until I pick up a pen and commit to paper.  I still make mistakes, but that’s okay too.  How can you appreciate the successes without acknowledging the journey you made to get there?    A short time later, I joined a creative writing class at a local high school and have never looked back.  For me, it’s about heart and soul.  If you approach a creative art and give it all that you have.  From the determination in your little toe, to the random thoughts in your head, I think you can create magic.  Have pride in your work and your creations, the medium; a short story, a poem or the nucleus of your first novel is secondary; your desire to create more will become essential.  It’s part of who you are.

Just like my dancing, your timing will be off until you feel more confident but once you do.  It becomes your world.  That little idea that your mind gave birth to is now out in the world existing because you wished it so.  That day, I left the dancercise class with a smile on my face knowing, at times, I looked like a frog in a blender, but once I added heart and soul, it no longer mattered because I felt alive.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?  In the meantime, I’m going dancing next week.  Might as well give Kimberly a run for her money…