Hello blogging, my old friend


I was – then I stopped.  Perhaps most people go into themselves when disaster strikes a family and I was rather different in my ‘share everything’ approach – but it was therapeutic and helpful at the time as well as a good way of letting friends and acquaintances know how we were getting on… I refer of course to our son’s terminal diagnosis with a brain tumour in 2010 and my original blog about our lives over the ensuing months – a raw, honest, blow-by-blow account of coping with grief and a young man who woke up every morning having to face a death sentence.

Screen Shot 2019-04-27 at 12.27.43
Sam – full of life, with only months left

On 1st April it was the ten-year anniversary of Sam’s first MRI scan, done as an emergency to find out why he was having trouble with his vision – quite a marker. It is now coming up to four and a half years since he died.  Everything that happened in between, and some of the grief we’ve walked through since, is documented on the various blogs I have used since that first one – Longing to Escape, Gone Upstairs, Ray & Redhead – so I’m not going into it any more than that today: you can follow the links yourself, dear reader.

Life goes in seasons and it’s been good to step back and hide for a while. It was time and it was necessary – and probably a bit more ‘normal’!  I had to learn to be quiet, let the adrenaline settle. I had to walk through the depression into a deeper, more private place – the ‘cloud of unknowing’, the stillness of the moment.  I did set up this blog to give me a place to write if I felt the urge, but have hardly used it. Maybe now after months of dealing with inner issues – buried childhood pain, the massive ripples of bereavement, discovery of a deeper identity, rediscovery of hope – it is time for a new beginning.

This year, being ten years, feeling like some sort of spring, I have set my face to start compiling the long-awaited BOOK of Sam.  I considered this three years ago but didn’t have the emotional resilience at that time.  It could of course go on like that for years, it’s always going to be hard on my heart.  But I realised if something happened and I couldn’t do it, I would regret it.  If I died without leaving Sam’s story (and ours) written in book form, I would not completely have ‘fulfilled my purpose’ – a clunky way of putting it, but you know what I mean.  Bottom line: I have to do it and it’s a good idea to get on with it now.

#management #time #day #work #job #search #weekend #wednesdayBlah, blah – writer talking bout writing again…  Decision time! Something needs to give. No-one can do/be good at everything, right? Or as my husband would say, ‘there’s only so much fun one person can have!’  So I stopped pottery classes (sad) and cut back on poetry workshops, put painting on the ‘only a hobby’ back burner and decided seeing one friend a week is enough.  I even tried to stop being such an obsessive housewife, as it’s all that duty that takes the most time.  I started writing school again, set up a flip-chart with coloured pens to plan my strategy and got a ‘helpful tip’ list from Pinterest

Three months later, I’ve made no progress with the book. The first realisation was that going to writing school every Tuesday morning, stimulating and encouraging as that is, wouldn’t actually get the book written. Durrrr! It was just another morning doing something else… So I left at Easter saying, farewell, fellow writers, I’ll send you some draft chapters by email.  You won’t have time to do your own writing because you’ll be reading mine!

I set a date to start: 1st April, the 10th anniversary.  But we were in our seaside home in Brittany with one room to live in together and I (happily) realised I’d be too distracted in that environment.  It was supposed to be a holiday – as much as one’s own home can be for any housewife – and this writing business is far too much like hard work! Also I really need internet access with much of my material in blog post form and we don’t have that chez nous en France.

My start date moved to: Monday morning 29th April. I’ve been planning to go out and find a work space in a nearby coffee shop every morning from 9am to midday and even written it into my diary for 3-4 of the coming weeks in May and June. Sorted? Not really. It struck me this morning that the issue is actually WRITING. I have not been writing regularly – typing writing rather than journal scribbling – for months. How can I expect to suddenly dive into that flow of words and emotions required to birth a book? I can’t.

So here I am.



3 thoughts on “Hello blogging, my old friend

  1. I need to tell you this tip my friend told me to help NF types who are so keen to start then get overwhelmed or find distractions . She said to set aside an hour 2-3 days a week, just one hour, and use that to write “the project”. Turn off the internet – which i must say i do on my phone but not on the laptop because i use it for researching – and then keep a recorded of how many hours you do.
    So i have this little book where I put in the day and what I did for that hour. So in a month I have done 10 hours of the project. Might not sound much but it is chipping away. It also makes me feel like I’ve achieved something rather than trying to do that whole day/3-4 hours in a coffee shop/etc. Often too I find that after my allotted hour I want to do more and so keep ploughing on, then feel really good about it
    It really does help seeing it as 2-3 hours a week rather than a book that needs writing.

    Love and hugs XX

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thinking of you, Sally Ann. I relate to this. I know how the struggle is for me: How the start-dates slide, how the words constipate. How I resist the pain of it, the rawness of reopened wounds. Gosh. I’m right there with you. Arguing against my own silencing voice. Making the choice to lean into the rope and abseil down again, again, again. To mine dark treasure; to make a record to leave behind; a history of losers, broken hearts. But it feels like the time to work while it’s still day. x
    Much love

    Liked by 1 person

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