Sunday, March 18, 2012

Not Writers Block

I was going to post about rituals, and I was going to post about the equinox in the southern hemisphere, which is always chaotic, and also the Autumnal equinox, cause I do like to remind those in the northern hemisphere that 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 a fellow Witch, and we had one of those awesome rambly conversations that covered a myriad of topics, lasted several hours and left me feeling very full. One of the topics that we discussed was in essences, the amount of interesting somewhat academic knowledge that I have in my head and why I am not writing about it.  It is this part of the conversation that made my ears perk up in that way it does when you know that you should be listen 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 have hidden meaning.  Perhaps it is why I have picked up on not just the writing aspect but also several other topics, which need further contemplation.    

Often when you get the chance to spend time with fellow Witches and take part in a rambly conversation over several hours, there is something or several something’s, in that conversation that needs to be  paid attention to and sometimes it can take several days or weeks for what it is to come out.  Other times like today it can take the walk home and a conversation with your inner voices to figure it out that there is something more here, and it now needs your attention.  

You see a little while ago I was asked by two wonderful Canadian stoics, if I would write/finish my thesis which is on Modern Pagan Books from 1954 to the present day, and by Pagan I mean mostly Wiccan. A little while ago I was put in touch with a person who is editing a book about Southern hemisphere Paganism and I offered to write a chapter on New Zealand Pagan History. I offered but have not finished said chapter.  I have started writing and have several pages of notes and a whole bunch of research but have not yet finished it.  Today I was asked again why I was not writing about New Zealand Pagan history as it was important information that is currently locked away in my head and really should be shared.   

Well why have I not done this, three times, a charm some would say, and I have been asked three times to write something on topics that I am very familiar with and topics that I have researched into for years.  I ran away from university because I was unable 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 conversation with a fellow Witch.    A part of me still believes that I am unable to write, despite, earning a degree, which was mostly writing, and a blog which I am now updating regularly.  As of today I 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 I was lazy and stupid, and often if you are told something enough times it gets in.
  What I am now coming to realise is, that sort 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, not for class but for fun.  At high school when I was about 14 or 15 I wrote, what today would be considered fanfic about Robin Hood from the TV series Robin the Hooded Man.  Me and my best friend used to write and then read each other’s stories.  We wrote with red pens and on the Mighty Jotter Pad, the one with the big pink elephant on the cover.. gosh..

The other reason is to do with how I was brought up, you see I am from a blue collar working class family, and things like writing or sitting down to write where not done.  Ok so it’s not like I was yelled at or anything and it certainly was not a malleolus thing but has I have gotten older and seen how other families work, I have come to the realisation that my family were not accustom to sitting still, and if you were sitting still, be that reading a book, or writing on a jumbo jotter pad in red pen then obviously you had nothing to do thus jobs were found that could be done.  These jobs where more physical in nature.  Crafts were fine, knitting, sewing, crocheting, digging, cooking, household chores and the like and to a degree reading, although that was generally reserved for night/evening time.  But writing, that was for homework, not for hobbies, or for time that could be spent better by doing chores, or so it seemed.  Of course viewing this with adult yes things are viewed clearer now.  It was not that my parent did not want me to do well at school, it was more that doing physical things while at home was more important than sitting down and writing, be those physical things knitting and sewing, digging the garden or doing house hold chores.  

At the time it was just how it was, but also at the time it was a distraction from writing as such.  I know this because I just went down stairs and asked my flatmate if I could help with dinner,  but actually I am writing.  And while she said nar she is fine, it comes back to that if you are sitting down writing as I am doing then obviously I have nothing to do thus should find something physical do to, like sewing or cooking, or digging the garden or helping my flatmate cook… Very curious or should that be obvious?  

Obviously there is a block, obviously there is reprogramming that is needed, obviously, very obviously, consciously even, but it has not been until today that I have made that connection, that connection between believing that I am unable to write, the programming that got in, and the excuses that I have been making to myself as to why I can’t write and how that all fits together.    Most often I tell people that I speak not write 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 can do a pretty ok job about editing it, and today I am starting to realise this.  Realise that yes I can write and that yes I have something important to say with my writing, it is a part of why I have started this blog and am making an effort to update it weekly, so that I write something every week so that I can fall into a rhythm of writing in a regular way, 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 the next few months to continue to realise that yes I can actually write, that I write like I speak and that’s ok, good even, makes it easier to read a friend has told me, and that despite whether or not I get this chapter finished on New Zealand Pagan history in time to email to the editor, doesn’t actually mean that I should not write it.  Because actually I can write, and actually I do write and it is not idle time it is writing 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  i am always happy for help in that aspect. !!


  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.

    1. 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*

    2. "Do what you love...and that which gives you the most energy" I forgot to add that, worth noting :)

    3. hey.. that is very astute.. *ponders this* and puts an interesting new angle on it all.. makes the bells go off in my head..

      thanks.. *beams*..

  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.

    1. 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*


  3. 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. :)

    1. Thank you.. gosh i have enjoyed everyone's comments.. they have been a huge help. whee.. *skips about*