I had trouble writing my last post, ‘…to Ess, and Emm…’
‘WEIRD,’ I’d put on a piece of paper, ‘THIS WRITING THAT I CAN’T DO.’
I’d tried it every which way and, at last, I’d set it aside, all the handwriting that I’d done for it (which ended up, with some editing, being it) plus some printed-out diary entries that I’d hoped might give me some idea—all these paper-clipped together.
I thought it was going to be impossible to write, after all, but it was insistent, the way that writing I just have to do—for one reason or another—is. It kept on coming back into my mind—the fact that it was there. I was disappointed. I knew the writing was potentially important to me, but it wouldn’t be done.
I know that writing doesn’t always come of itself—at least to start off with—maybe you have to get something down—try something out—before the muse hits.
And I had tried all that—sure, there had been a flow, but it wasn’t right, and that pulled me up before I’d got much further than the first few paragraphs.
The problem was with the names of the places I travelled through—did I give them or not?
The writing was coming up stilted as I tried to get around mentioning those places by name. I couldn’t write the writing without calling the places something. But, on the other hand, I didn’t want to give the names that they would actually have on a map.
I thought I wouldn’t be able to write the writing at all—what I was handwriting (I most often start off with handwriting) all seemed so twee—it was almost like a school essay, adequate in that it said what happened, but not very elegant.
That was when I went to my diary. I knew there was an entry there—at least one.
There were two:
‘Monday 12 September 2016
‘I’m in the bus station, waiting for the 42B to S…
‘I have more than half an hour to wait, but this is a reconnaissance mission—see how it would go, getting there—I need to set off from home a bit later than I did. It’s 50 minutes to S, so I don’t want to go for a cup of coffee—I don’t want to be busting for a pee while I’m on the bus.
‘Mind you, I reckon there isn’t much at S that we would be interested in—there’s B, which is bigger than the one here, possibly worth visiting for fabric, the optician (which I’ve been trying to avoid) and—I’m hoping there is a second-hand bookshop.
‘Tuesday 13 September 2016
‘Well, I went to S yesterday, on the bus.
‘J happened to text while I was out. She had wanted to borrow the wallpaper stripper.’
‘The truth of the matter is that there isn’t much in S to go for. The most interesting part of the day was the bus journey.
‘I’ve walked too far—this is another thing. Today, I have no option other than to rest up.’
Okay. I’ve still edited that.
But, I’d printed out those entries (my diary is eventually typed), and the problems I was encountering were all written around in notes—‘Travelogue—so far—it flows on, etc, etc, but I put these, from my diary (all I have in there about the trip), into a separate file—and that all seems so much more immediate.
‘The handwritten version—quite clever in its own way in that it deals with problems…
‘I have a beginning, and a destination in both of those accounts (the handwritten and diary) but—the middle is missing…’