READ, WRITE AND DON’T DAYDREAM!

Some people stack books widely in haphazard fashion beside their beds with volumes they would like to find time to read, while others spend time daydreaming of the best way to store and display their prize volumes of the printed word.

The heading above is fifth of ten points, that PD James offered by way of advice for would-be writers, in an interview with Alison Feeney-Hart for the BBC.

She suggests that people should read widely.
Now, I have been known to do just that – read very widely that is!

1/7 reproduction of the Bayeux Tapestry, an historical record created in 11th century, it is the only masterpiece of its kind in the world. An embroidery on a linen cloth using wools of various colours, it is over 70 metres long and 50 centimetres high and retraces the history of the conquest of England by William the Conqueror.

+o+o+o+

Since my post for the LBC last week (which was actually written in September) I have made a decision – To retire from the group and not take part in future weeks.

When I was invited to join the group at the inception of the Consortium back in July 2009 I dithered. Why? I take all commitments seriously and for me, this one was as important as any other. Do the work and show up on time, come hail, rain, drought or thunder!

Yes, I dithered quietly to myself for a couple of days: Would I find the words or even know the words, to convey my thoughts on the topics chosen by the wordsmiths Conrad, Ashok & Ramana? I was supposed to follow those lads, and the four of us post our efforts at the same time every Friday. We worked in that order for the first few months.

Conrad set the ball rolling with Creativity. C R E A T I V I T Y!

Yes, my internal butterflies proved correct. The three boyos each presented a thesis worthy of an academic degree and I wrote about sewing!

At that stage, the topic for the following week was chosen only after the previous one had time for the paint to dry.

Holy mother of Vestal Virgins. Week two and I was ready for the hills or to dive off the cliff at the end of my garden. That young buck, Ashok, all the way over in Bangalore, chose Stereotyping! I jumped. Not off the cliff, just outside the box. (Alas, I cannot provide you with a link to the early posts.)

Sometimes the prompter forgot until close to the date for publication, that it was their turn to throw in the topic. I panicked! I needed time to think because my mind works best in slow motion. Thus the topic list came into being.

The LBC family began to grow faster than an Irish family in pre central heating days! Over time we had eighteen members. Everyone had their opportunity to throw in ideas. Then people began to drift. Family situations, health issues, work, broken computers or lack of time or enthusiasm, took them away. Some resigned, some evaporated, but the core held on. I have to admit that I found writing on topics chosen by people who had disappeared or moved on, very uninspiring. I missed reading how they would approach or present their particular topic.

In the past year I have struggled, really struggled to stir my pot of enthusiasm across the board of my blogging. I want to make changes – perhaps post randomly for three days a week for a little while.

I know that if I pull the plug completely on the blog at this stage, I would not come back. That would be unfair to Elly, Darren, Anto and Phil and maybe others who have voluntarily given time to work on bringing my old blog of almost three thousand posts, up to date and try merging it with over 800 posts written here.

Out of respect, I wrote to the regular contributors to let them know that I wished to retire. I figured it would be simple and accepted. It was never my intention to disrupt the flow of the group, or pass on my waves of unrest to others. Unfortunately
Delirious, at Life on a Limb, has already written a post of resignation, she wants to take her blog back on the path she had originally chosen.

I was but a tiny cog in the wheel of the Loose Bloggers Consortium and as with all life, the LBC will go on without me and flourish. I wish the LBC members all the best for the future and may their words flow easily!

Now out of respect for Shackman who chose the topic of What is your favourite book (Bible excluded) to tickle the brain cells this week, I reproduce this one:

MY BOOK!

I did it!
I did it!
Come and look
At what I’ve done!
I read a book!
When someone wrote it
Long ago
For me to read,
How did he know
That this was the book
I’d take from the shelf
And lie on the floor
And read by myself?
I really read it!
Just like that!
Word by word,
From first to last!
I’m sleeping with
This book in bed,
This first FIRST book
I’ve ever read!
~ David L. Harrison ~

Conrad Ashok Ramana Grannymar Magpie 11 Marianna Maria/SF Maria/Gaelikaa Judy Ginger Anu Delirious Padmini Will Knott Paul Rohit Shackman Maxi

To all the members, present and past, I thank you for your friendship and all the wisdom I gained from your writing. I will continue to drop by and catch up with you and wish you well for the future.

Lán grá

Grannymar.

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49 thoughts on “READ, WRITE AND DON’T DAYDREAM!

  1. Your message was not the reason I chose to leave. It was just a convenient chance for me to piggyback and also leave. I had already been thinking of leaving. I just found with time that it was not what I wanted to be doing in blogging land. 🙂 But you Grannymar, are a gifted writer, and I think you should consider writing a book. Seriously.

    • Phew! I am pleased that I was not the reason you decided to drop out of the LBC.

      Delores, You are kind to say that I should write a book. Even after seven years of blogging, my limit seems to be 2,000 words. That is a long way from a short story, never mind a full sized book. Thank you anyway for the compliment.

    • Dianne, Two kindles, one for each hand and how will you work the ipads? 😉 I am teasing you. It is one laptop and a smart phone for me, otherwise I would never get anything done.

  2. We’ve had our Kindles for over three years now and have significantly reduced the book clutter in our house.

    I’ve read many of the posts of the Loose Bloggers Consortium — both yours and others — with interest. Others, perhaps because of the topic for that week, interested me not at all.

    If you stop blogging here, I, for one, would miss you. Most of the blogs I was reading when I first started reading yours seem to have gone dark, but yours continues to “shine.”

    • Mike, I won’t turn the light off completely, just turn it down a few watts over the next month. Maybe in the new year, I will find new jizz to begin all over again.

  3. I understand your decision completely . . . writing to prompts is not “fun” for me unless the prompt tickles my writing bone in some way. I don’t enjoy writing to someone else’s schedule.

    • Nancy, in the beginning it was fun and the LBC certainly stretched me, but in recent months I could see myself growing stale. As W. H. Davies wrote:

      “WHAT is this life if, full of care,
      We have no time to stand and stare?—
      No time to stand beneath the boughs,
      And stare as long as sheep and cows:
      No time to see, when woods we pass,
      Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
      No time to see, in broad daylight,
      Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
      No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
      And watch her feet, how they can dance:
      No time to wait till her mouth can
      Enrich that smile her eyes began?
      A poor life this if, full of care,
      We have no time to stand and stare.”

      I need to go do a little standing and staring.

      • One of my all time favourite poems! 🙂

        Like you i would really struggle to write to a theme every week. For me the photo challenges are so much easier as I have thousands and thousands of photos, and they give me a chance to share some of my photos with people that would otherwise be hidden in my hard drive forever. And then with most photos there is a story… so the little bit of writing i do works.

        I find i get a much much better response to a photographic post as opposed to a composition. My post about Dyslexia was virtually ignored but my butterfly has had 35 likes since midnight!

        As long as you don’t leave completely! & please keep up your Thursday Jokes! I love them! (The Pope has Arthritis lol)

        xxx

  4. I understand your reasons for leaving and posting 3 time a week for a while. Well, why not? I, myself, have opted to post every other day and I am glad because of it.

  5. GM – it just won’t be the same without you. I suspect I have approached the entire LBC debate a bit differently than the rest of the writers – I honestly only looked at the topic early the day it was due (I typically start work at 5AM or sooner) and then just literally shot from the hip with my posts. Yes – my music chops are sufficient to rattle off songs as I did in my posts so adding the songs to my posts was easy and a natural thing – and made some of my comments unique. Frankly you are the heart and soul of the group – Conrad the brains and Ramana the conscience. I’ll still be reading and commenting and if Conrad & Ramana want to continue weekly single topic posts I’ll be there with them.

  6. Grannymar,

    I’m certain that you will be greatly missed by the readers of the LBC who will be very sorry to see you leave their writing group.

    You are a talented and prolific writer and I am very happy to know that you will continue to write your regular blog for our enjoyment.

    • Nancy, like everything else in life, the LBC will go on without me. I will keep my blog open to air the rooms until the end of the year and then decide the direction I want to take it.

  7. Everyone’s journey is so very different. I latched on to blogging as a way of getting back into writing after raising a family of four children. I wrote long, rambling posts on what could be termed an ‘expat blog’. The writing was cathartic for me because I was facing a lot of personal problems of an inter-cultural nature. I revealed a lot of personal stuff, blogging semi-anonymously, using the handle ‘gaelikaa’. However, I discovered Facebook, started connecting with other bloggers and it seemed ridiculous to remain anonymous anymore, especially when my email account was tied up with my blogger account. I had to switch to another blog and make the old one ‘private’ as I felt the protective veil of anonymity disappear. There were too many personal details appearing online. I have become a member of various online blogging groups, LBC included. The LBC group is my longest association, although my closed blog writing critique group is a close second. Through blogging, I have connected with other writers. The writing blog world is very different. I contributed features to magazines years ago, before I married and became an expat, so as the freelance writing world has changed owing to the appearance of the internet, connecting with writers through blogging has helped me to reconnect and pick up where I left off. I’ve had some features and short stories published since coming back to writing and now I’m working towards longer fiction. I also got into book blogging with other blogging/writing friends, which is something entirely different. What the LBC has done for me is that it’s kept me to blogging for the sake of blogging – because, in the true sense, blogging is not just about writing, it’s about connecting. You get a window into someone else’s world and it is a unique experience. The LBC posts kept me blogging when I otherwise might not have bothered, when book blog posts were going on and various other writing projects. And for that reason, I have a very special regard for the LBC. I didn’t always show up when life got in the way, but I never stayed away too long. I don’t need a lot of inspiration to write blog posts. I can open a book and go down seven sentences and read the fifth word and that’s inspiration enough. Or look at a photograph. And I don’t have to write a long, rambling posts- a nice photograph and a short paragraph will do the job. Less is more nowadays anyway, attention spans being what they are. So as long as there are LBC members who wish to post on Friday, I’ll be there. And if they all drift away, I’ll stay blogging on my own steam. I won’t miss anyone as long as they continue to blog because one can always drop by their blogs and catch up. When stuctures become restrictive, it’s time to say goodbye. But the LBC routine suits me, so it’s fine.

    Delores was right, Grannymar – you have a unique writing voice and your posts are a treasure trove of wisdom and insight. Particularly your take of Dublin in your youth. If you were to put a collection of your blog posts together in an ebook, you’d find you’ve already written your book. And if you do that, give me a shout. I’d love to feature you as an author on my book blog (ishmarind.blogspot.com).

  8. We’ve shared a lot on the LBC, but that has turned into just the sideline as the more interesting sharing has grown. As I said on my blog, your connection to me and my family is well beyond the LBC. We will stay in touch, cuz!

  9. I tend to forget to look at blogs…bloggers…and for that matter my own miserable attempts to keep my blog up-2-date. I wax and wane. Sometimes I think I should try and write a bunch and save in files to add – weekly.

    But then I have to compose a lot regularly for my University study, none of which are terribly suitable for blogging. After I have repeatedly looked and altered up to 3000 words or more I am done with “compositions” and then when I have a clean space, I catch up bloggers and write nothing on mine 🙂

    • Cathy, you lead a busy life A blog should work for us, if it is the other way round, then it is time to revisit why we started in the first place.

  10. Sometimes it is harder to go than to stay, or is it the other way round… Blessed be in all you do. and tis sure I am that you made the best decision for you.

  11. Grannymar, as you know, you invited me to join the LBC some time ago and I declined because I didn’t want to be tied to particular subjects that might totally fail to inspire me. I’m impressed that you managed to find the inspiration so consistently – until recently. I’m sure you’ll get new inspiration of one kind or another. Personally, I wouldn’t want to stop blogging as I enjoy writing the posts and reading the comments, but I find blogging a couple of times a week or so is quite enough for my sluggish imagination!

    • Nick, I remember asking you to join the LBC, back then, we were fresh and new and it was all very exciting. Lately the topics at times were very uninspiring for me, or taking me out of my comfort zone. Writing on a topic that I did not like, when the person who had suggested it, had evaporated or chose not to join in, was what killed my enthusiasm. I’m hoping that easing back will help me recharge the batteries.

  12. Since the LBC started a lot of water has flown down the rivers of NI and India and both of us have seen a great deal of changes in our personal lives. You have maintained a rhythm of posting that inspired me for some time, but preoccupation with other matters have led me to taper off the number of blog posts per week though I keep the LBC posts going come what may. Frankly, I will miss your LBC posts but will keep following your other posts as you post them as I hope you will mine.

    • Ramana, changes galore, some good while others took more than a little getting used too! All that is left to do now is for active members to decide among yourselves, who will take over the Topic List, I did say I would leave it in place until the end of the month, seems silly to go beyond that if I am not taking part.

  13. I started blogging more than 10 years ago, and have taken a couple of years off during that time. I used to post almost every day, now it’s more like once a week. My advice, for what it’s worth, is relax and only make the effort “when the spirit moves you”, which I hope will be often ! 🙂

    • John, I have been going almost non stop for seven years, even hip or cataract surgery, didn’t stop me. Time I had a tail off for awhile.

  14. Oh my GM, LBC or not, I will follow you. You’re my friend and I can’t forget about you just because of the LBC. Hope you decide to keep your blog and post once in a while.
    blessings ~ maxi

  15. Power to you, Grannymar. Now that I’ve “let up” my blogging, I have read so many of those books on my list; I done some creative writing of my own; I’ve been working on my health; I’ve been sleeping better because my mind isn’t racing in the wee hours to think of something stimulating to write about that someone may or may not care to read. I’ve been absent since July 5 I believe, and only recently have I begun to think of perhaps reviving Wintersong a bit, and begin to direct it more in the direction I think I intended when I thought it was such a good idea…but only on a once or twice a week directive… or when inspiration hits. Life is waiting wherever you plan to live it, and in a blog doesn’t compare to in the now. I’ve not said goodbye, just “see you ’round the corner.” 🙂

    • Alice, it is good to hear from you. I am not hanging up my hat, just giving inspiration a holiday. I plan to appear three times a week in some shape or form until the turn of the year.

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