Life has been pretty hectic this year, one way or another, and my writing mojo seems to have gone missing in action.
Lately I’ve been resorting to old, half finished drafts to keep my blog active. You know those posts…started in good faith a while ago but never quite let out in public because you couldn’t find the right angle or the best way to finish. They are now pretty much exhausted. A few scheduled posts are sitting in the wings. A holiday is on the horizon. And I feel completely uninspired to write anything about the books I’ve read this past month. Even though I really enjoyed every single one of them.
One of the many books I’m in the middle of reading right now, is a collection of essays by Lydia Davis around the theme of translating, Essays Two (Lisa, I think you will love this one too). Early on she tells us about some advice that Roland Barthes had given to a young writer who were experiencing writers block. He told him to “stop writing for himself for awhile and do translations“. Advice Davis took.
I cannot translate from one language to another to save myself, but when the writing mojo leaves me, I fall into admin mode.
Ever since moving to WordPress the many glitches and hyperlink issues have bugged me. As I get the chance I have been fixing them. However, this past month or so I have found myself, more and more, working behind the scenes debugging the glitches. It has been very satisfying and absorbing. And surprising. Some of my older reviews are horrendous. But some are brilliant and I wonder who on earth wrote them!
Maybe reading and editing older posts will help me to rediscover what I love about writing and blogging. As Davis also said about the pleasures of translating, “you are to some extent disappearing from yourself for a little while, as you do anytime you become wholly absorbed into an activity. You leave yourself behind for hours at a stretch“. Right now, that sounds delightful.
The plan is to spend this writing hiatus tidying and reformatting my older posts to take the pressure off writing something new. Just for a little while. It could be a week; it could be a month.
I would love to get back into exploring Sydney on my days off work. Pre-Covid, I would take myself off for half a day, venturing into new-to-me suburbs and areas. I feel like I have forgotten how to go off boldly into the unknown, take a chance, and absorb new sights and sounds. It’s time for an adventure, even if it’s just a mini one.
Some time away from draft posts will also hopefully free me up to visit more of your blogs, more regularly. Some scheduled posts had been written in preparation for our holiday, so This Reading Life will not be totally quiet. As soon as I have something to say again, I will be back!
Until then, thank you for your patience and understanding.
- This post was written on the traditional land of the Wangal clan, one of the 29 clans of the Eora Nation within the Sydney basin. This Reading Life acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are this land’s first storytellers.