Hard January

I’m setting up online as a ‘real writer’.  I’ve decided on a publishing name.  I have an email address, a Twitter account, and I’m transferring this blog over to my new social media.  It all feels very real and scary.  I am preparing to send things.  I am still questioning myself.


After signing in, I notice that I have posted zilch since December.  In that blog, I transmogrified into Ranty McRanterson, from Rantsville to moan (at great length) about the shiny season.  Shame!  Shame!  My bloggy momentum has been lost, and here are the statistics in all their digital glory, slapping me in my virtual face.  The bastards!

This is unacceptable, so true to my chaotic form, I stop everything else I am doing to start a blog.  I’m a huge advocate of automatic writing, but even my blog posts need an inspiration point.  I don’t just begin writing from a blank head.  Talking about my latest leap of faith and giving myself a hard time for neglecting my blog has given me the start I needed.

That got me thinking.  Why I wasn’t writing here?  I cast my mind back to the last couple of months.  The pattern is always the same, I am unmanageability personified.  I work two jobs and I’m doing a full time master’s degree.  I am working on *takes Ace Ventura style deep breath* a collection of Doric poetry with a working title of ‘Things beginning with P’, several short stories that will become a novel that I am writing for The Boy, and polishing up previous work based on feedback, in preparation for sending out into the big bad world.  In addition to all of this, I am a gig addict and regularly gallivant to see live bands.

Reading this alone makes me feel tired.  I am always running around crazy.  No wonder I wasn’t spending any time writing here.


How on earth do I manage to have a life and friends in amongst all that?  My friends are wonderful people that accept me for the chaotic mess that I am, and do not disown me when I say ‘let me check my diary’ every time they ask to meet up.  I always feel like such a dick, but pain and experience has taught me to write EVERYTHING down, otherwise it is ‘tatties ower the side’ (this is Doric for ‘It’s fucked’).  I have plenty nonsense to beat myself up with already so I shall keep my paper diary as my life arranger and personal saviour.

I have learned to slow down a little.  This year, I had more days off over the holidays than I generally do.  Without realising, I Tasmanian-Devil my way through every December, only to discover that January is just as tough.  The marketing machine bombards us with images, articles and products designed to provoke extreme self loathing.  Repent! Dry January, lose all that Christmas weight, New Year – New You, blah blah bollocks.  Those who do take time off receive a teeny taste of what life would be like if they could afford to leave the rat race and not work.  Just enough to begin liking it and the dream is wheeched aff them like a bully taking a sweetie fae a bairn.  Swipe ya bass.   No wonder everyone is plodding around miserably, hating their lives.  January is HARD.


I don’t hate either of my jobs.  I have different reasons for struggling through the first month of the year.  For me, January is a grieving process, after losing the love of my life five years ago.  Every year, after surviving what feels like a five megaton Christmas nuke, January thunders up, pulling you backwards by the scruff of the neck.  It is a dark month, grey, rain soaked bleakness.  It feels never-ending.

Yet here we are, in the second day of February.  The weather is still shit, but I’m writing this blog.  That walking-through-mud feeling visits periodically, no more battling against it every second of every day.  I know from previous years that the light is coming.  I just need to hang in there and be patient. Breathe.  Practice self-care.  Be kind and loving to myself and others.  This will pass.


I was chatting to a colleague last week about the Danish practice of hygge.  She was telling me how using the idea had helped to make her January much easier.  No restricting food.  No resolutions.  Just self-care, comfort and being kind to yourself.  These things don’t have to be extravagant or expensive.  I started with allowing myself a bunch of fresh flowers.  The next thing was lighting a scented candle in my bedroom half an hour before I go to bed and switching on my electric blanket.  The feeling of getting into that bed…that is hygge.  These seemingly small actions have huge impact.  I will continue this wonderful suggestion alongside my creative practice.  Peace out ♥


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