Saturday, April 6, 2013
Writing a blogpost on how difficult I am finding it to write blogposts is an invitation to collapse into gibberish and insanity, but bear with me….
In prison I had my writing routine. It involved my comfy chair, bit of wood as a table, my wordprocessor and my telly. At certain times of the day – or night – I could lift myself above my situation and the words would pour through my fingers. Off into the mail to The Editor, to be scanned and uploaded. It took only an evening here and there to hack out a week's worth of blogposts.
Since I have been home, the words just have not come. I have yet to find my writing routine, and without a time and place then the creativity, the fluidity of thought, continues to elude me. Perhaps this is a matter of having too much choice. I could write in the office upstairs. Or settle in the conservatory, mocking the elements whilst surrounded by cats. In better weather, there is the spot under the pergola, next to the pond. Or, as now, secreted away in my shed…which has remarkably similar dimensions to some of the more meagre cells. With TV, heater and laptop I could settle here for hours. Days. Weeks…
I do try. And yet there are all of the distractions and obligations that comprise “life”, that endless struggle and exploration. Each day still contains something new for me. I am working, as well as attempting to develop a new business, alongside occasional talks and, as ever, being a source of advice for many in sore need of my experience.
Writing, then, has of necessity fallen from being perhaps the most important of my daily activities. It is no longer needed as a source of continuity, a way to bring meaning to the essential meaningless existence that is prison. Living, rather than maintaining an existence, has become the focus of my days.
Adding to the new shape of my life have been the new avenues that have opened up to continue what has always been the essence of the blog – to foster debate around imprisonment. This includes talking at universities and the like, the odd media spot, and that dreadfully addictive tool, Twitter. Blogging has always been my thoughtful space, where I could ponder with greater care some of the issues.
And it will continue to be so. As my technical expertise grows, I would hope to entwine the various ways I communicate into one place, or share content across platforms (sorry for lapsing into that gobbledygook!). In the meanwhile, I will continue to spread myself too thinly for my own comfort and struggle to find the space and time to seriously maintain all that we share.
For I always remember that blogging is a relationship. Even when my voice was constrained and held at a distance by the bars, I knew this was fundamental. People don’t turn up regularly on the off-chance there is something to be heard. Regularity of thought, new content, is vital. And some of you have come along with me from the very beginnings of this journey – and I owe you a debt far greater than you could ever imagine.
Bear with me, then, a little longer as I find my place in this new life. I have hopes that the future may be as interesting as the past.