The motivation of Nan.

It’s been a hot second .. or ten. It happens, I get sidetracked easily by things, sometimes I get stuck in my head, sometimes I just stare at the wall. This time though, well, all I can really say is ‘shit got real’. Again.

I’ve been having feelings of real inadequacy, the crippling kind that lingers in dark places, whispering lies that your mind eventually starts to believe, because it’s a constant, never-ending presence that somehow comes to dominate your waking mind. I don’t really want to go into it, but suffice it to say I wasn’t ready for one of my sons to leave home, didn’t think it was going to take me over twelve months to find a job that will keep the roof over my head, and hey, let’s throw my wonderful Irish nan Delia Kathleen passing away a few days ago in there too.

I should be crying, but instead I’m numb.

Talking to my sister the other day, she absolutely hit the nail on the head. I’m paraphrasing, but it was something like this:

“When you’ve spend your whole life hurting, with one shitty thing happening after the other, it’s hard to react. Your emotions just shut down and you compartmentalise it, pushing it away to deal with later.. usually at a stupid time.”

And you know, she was right. I stack things up until the inevitable happens. Right now I think my friend Tiana is looking at me sideways, constantly waiting to come home and find me sitting in the bathtub with a bucket of ice-cream sobbing because I stepped on a piece of cat litter. She’s already got the broom ready.

There’s no in-between. I’m either a robot or a mess.

Ah, well. Sin é an saol

I can hear you now, asking what this has to do with my writing.. more, what does this have to do with my writing blog?

Everything and nothing.

You see, I have a lot of ingrained self esteem problems anyway. I have this grandiose idea for a book trilogy, I’ve got the main character biographies done, the world building is coming along nicely.

Okay, I’m going sideways for a minute. World building is new to me. Well, not so much that I do it, more that I’m physically doing it, writing it down instead of keeping it in my head, and let me tell you now…,

IT’S SO MUCH EASIER.

Oh my goodness. Every thought about the character, the little things, their races, the planet’s they’re from, their civilisations. All of it. It’s so much easier to keep track of WHO they are, and WHY they are when it’s written down and not just one of a million jumbled thoughts in my head. I highly recommend world building, either in a notebook, or in a word document. I’m not even close to done, I still have to write some more basic history of my main characters’ origins, but I can tell you right now, I feel closer to the actual book and the story now than I ever have.

It’s coming together. Finally.

It’ll be fun, they said.

Which actually brings me back to my earlier question and now I can answer it for you:

It was the death of my Nan last Saturday that kicked me in the arse. I wanted to do something to keep my mind busy so that I didn’t end up in the bathtub crying, and since I already had an Irish character, it was easy for me to invent him a mother.

Yes, I just immortalised my Nan as a fictional character in my book. You know the one, the one I have millions of notes for, have found a cool name for, but haven’t started yet. Actually, that isn’t true. I have started it, I started it a few years ago when I found myself with a muse for a certain Archangel, and another for a charismatic, vague alien. Every day I write something for at least one of my characters and these exercises help me to polish them into the tragic, salty, endearing messes that they are.

I guess the point of this blog entry was to remind myself, and everyone that forward movement doesn’t have to be in huge steps. It doesn’t even have to be daily.

Go dtí go mbuailimid le chéile arís.