Scribbles From Life
Comments 8

Learning: Scrambling Through Life One Day At A Time

Have you heard the phrase ‘you learn something new everyday’? I’m willing to bet that you have and in all likelihood, you’ve used it a few times yourself.

Life is all about learning, even if you’re not academic, you are still learning something every day, no matter what you get up to. It could be a skill, a new word, an aspect of yourself, or the way in which something works around you. Learning is important and there isn’t an end to it.

I started learning to blog over five years ago. [I think – wordpress tends to remind me when another long, dusty year has somehow developed super-speed and whizzed past.] Over that time I have learnt quite a few things:Scan_20160614

  • How to blog. [Maybe – you can be the judge of that.]
  • How to deal with critics [I made improvements alright! We’re not all perfect.]
  • How to face obstacles and overcome them without going under.
  • What will happen in my novel Shadow Dawns [Another maybe.]
  • How to be a better writer.
  • What it means to be in a committed relationship
  • When I need to step away from things.
  • When my body is telling me I’m doing too much.
  • How to cope with loss.
  • That I’m far more creative than I give myself credit for
  • That I can achieve things [like drawing portraits] if I spend enough time working at it.

I could go on and on but I think I’ll leave it there. My point is, I’ve grown as a person over the last five years and I plan on growing just as much, if not more over the next five, ten, fifteen, thirty- however long I get to hang about on this planet.

Today I received a start reminder of how short life can be and how important it is to try and chase those dreams that really matter to you.

Five years ago I was writing pieces like this:

My laptop stands open, the harsh white light of a blank page staring out at me accusingly, because for some reason, I seemed to have betrayed it. Instead my hand creeps for the slick, silver curve of my favourite pen. The one for which I even search shops, to find the right sized ink refill, just so it can live a little longer.
It lounges in the cradle of my hand, its tip hovering over the lined expanse of a new notepad, my excitement pouring through this extension of me, waiting to spill out. Elbows resting on the unyielding wood of my desk as the world drops away, and a million voices rise to clamour for my attention.
Characters of youth and age, scrabble towards the page beneath my pen, their desperate dash to be the ones who finally spring to life in words and ink. Slowly the nib comes down and the white of the paper is blemished, unchangeable now in its imperfection, but perfection does not exist in the mind of a writer.

Today I write things like this:

Things rarely ended how Bellris intended. He’d kept his hood pulled low and his face in the shadows, but somehow they had noticed him.

He hit the wall at the end of the alley and scrambled for purchase. The stone was wet with rain and too smooth for climbing. The crates stacked next to him were soft with rot and half collapsing into themselves, with little to offer anyone hoping to scale the sheer wall.

He glanced back the way he’d come and the crowds still surging past the entranceway.

Hallows’ Night. The same explosion of revelry every year and every year he found himself in the same position.

‘Bellris…’

Edget’s voice crawled inside his ear as the three shadows from the tavern emerged from the crowd, the rain shimmering in front of them.

They came down the alley single file, their bodies too wide to fit them any other way.

‘Oh Bellris…’ The two behind Edget cackled and Bellris threw himself against the wall again, the skin on his fingers tearing as he fumbled for a way to pull himself up. ‘Now, now. None of that.’

Edget’s hand came down on his shoulder and Bellris spun. His spine slammed into the wall and his skull bounced off the stone sending sparks of lighting crackling across his vision.

Hallows’ Night, let it be dammed by the Nine Lords of Chaos  and every single one of their insane followers.

He felt the air leave his lungs as he double up, Edget’s fist lodged in his gut.

Looking back at that first piece I can’t quite recognise the style. I was probably trying to be poetic, and instead, came off sounding stuck up.

Prompts like this one from the daily post gave me chance to practice my writing and improve.

For example, I wrote this piece for the daily prompt: Borrow

How To Treat A Borrowed Heart

She gave out her heart like a library book,

not minding if it came back

dog eared, tea stained, well thumbed.

When she handed it to me

I could see the tear stains

left over from previous readings

and didn’t have to ask

if there was going to be a happy ending.

I just took it with care,

did not leave on the windowsill

to collect mould or yellow

in the sun.

I did not cram it,

to the bottom of my bag,

or leave it to shunt for space

with the biros and pencils

left loose and jostling down there.

I kept it well past the return date.

She was surprise when I asked

if she could renew my loan.

Writing in itself is a learning experience and a tool for learning more about yourself. That’s because it’s all about finding your own voice and the best way to express it. That first extract shows how much I wanted to sound good, like I was a real writer. These days I care less about how my writing looks on the page and more about how I feel when I read it back.

If it doesn’t feel like me I’m not going to put it out there.

So my parting note. Follow your own voice, learn all that you can, and follow the things that make you happy. If everything seems to be falling apart then cling onto the strands of your life that give you a reason to get up in the morning.

For me that has always been writing.

You are the only one who knows what means the most to you.

Written For The Daily Post Prompt: Learning

This entry was posted in: Scribbles From Life

by

Carol Forrester is a twenty-three year old writer trying to be a better one. Don’t ask her what her hobbies are because the list doesn’t get much beyond, reading, writing and talking about the same. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University and various poems and stories scattered across the net. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry’s. Most recently, her poem ‘Sunsets’ was featured on Eyes Plus Words, and her personal blog Writing and Works hosts a mass of writing from across the last five years. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and is always open to writing more and hosting guest bloggers here on Writing and Works. With hopes of publishing a novel in the next five years and perhaps a collection or two of smaller works, Carol Forrester is nothing if not ambitious. Her writing tries to cover every theme in human life and a lot of her work pulls inspiration from her own eccentric family in the rural wonders of Shropshire life.

8 Comments

  1. Wow!! Now you are a person that i like to seek motivation from. I find myself in the early stages of my life journey. I hope to be able to grow as much as you.

  2. You certainly have grown as a writer for sure. That first piece sounded very pretentious. Your second piece was so much more fluid and natural. Keep writing! We can all get better. My first blog posts weren’t too charming either haha

    • I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one. I found a lot of my very early stuff did sound pretentious and I cringe when I read it back now. I think it helps that I’ve learnt writing doesn’t have to be ‘this thing’ it can be anything. Thanks for commenting.

      • You’re not alone. I was fascinated by, and tried out that style, back in the day. I realised it only sounds proper in the old victoriana era and before, when people actually spoke like that haha.

  3. It is almost embarrassing for me to lo at my early blogging and musings. The maturity of my voice through age and lots of practice is incredible…though I have so much left to learn.

    • I think we all do. I started when I was in sixth form and I graduated from university over a year ago. I kick myself when I read some stuff. I thought I was so mature and I really wasn’t.

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