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Tiah Beautement

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The Write Life Part 4 – The End

This is a short series on trying to find the Write Life: click to read Part 1 or Part 2, or Part 3.

The Write Life. It sounds catchy. Desirable. It involves a perfect balance between commitments, writing, family, rest and living. Living, which according to internet memes and motivational slogans, appears to be those things that are not work and family and reading and writing…this elusive living that is done in that spare time by people who have lives. With arms stretched out wide. On a mountaintop. At sunrise. Maybe sunset.  The rest of us are not living, apparently, but zombies. Can’t be dead, because the dead don’t move. Hard to do laundry and not move. Believe me, I’ve tried.

I’m not sure there is a Write Life, however. I’ve spent time cutting things out of my life only to have new things slip in: children’s writing group, Spring Wring Course, #WriterPrompt and belly dancing, to name a few. I like being busy. But I don’t like being stressed and anxious. I enjoy working with writers under the age of 18 in person. It remains to be seen if I feel the same about adults. Giving feedback on #WriterPrompt (which I enjoy) is a far cry from adult writers gathered in my dining room. But it is a challenge, and at least I can say I tried.

What I have come to understand, however, is that my Write Life is only achievable in moments. Yes, since the 28th of May I’ve managed to put down another 6,000 words in a work-in-progress. First time I’ve added words to a work-in-progress during the months of May and June since I became a part of Short Story Day Africa. It hasn’t been easy to acquire the space for those new words. They are the first new words since the 24th of April. Nor will we discuss how long it took for me to write this final post. Things were going, then they were not. People get sick, have injuries, face unexpected events – Write Life depends upon consistency. Life, even the zombie sort, is full of unpredictability. Organisation, diaries and working ahead can only accomplish so much. Life happens. And it isn’t always at sunrise on a mountaintop.

Write Life blog series is done. But this isn’t a mini project. Like my health, how much I’m working – how I’m using my time -  is going to require constant reassessment. There is already a looming what if hovering in July. To happen, or not happen. I’m not sure what the answer will be. I thought I knew. Now I don’t. But what I’ve come to realise is, that it is wonderful to be at a place to have choices. There are times I have not had much choice. The trick is to keep in mind that, ‘No, is an answer, too,’ as my physio said. Nonetheless, what a beautiful time in my life this is, where I have choice. It is an important point. Because looking behind me, it is evident that when I lose sight of choice the demons creep in. I must remember, because I can’t keep adopting black dogs to keep the rest at bay.

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