Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Newcastle Beckons

Only a week now before I go to Newcastle Uni, to take part in the Reassembling the Self events.  I am thinking about the impending trip all the time - slightly obsessively - and the main thing on my mind is the necessity of staying calm and just enjoying the experience.  I think I will enjoy it - I have enjoyed all the similar things I have done in the last year or so; talking to the Schizophrenia Commission in London, travelling to Brighton for the Time to Change training, speaking to various groups about my book and my experiences.  But this one feels huge - I really want it to go well, because maybe it will lead on to other similar work, which would be great.  Probably the best thing I can do is try not to think about it all the time...

I started a Psychology course this week, really quite unexpectedly.  A friend of mine was studying GCSE Psychology last year, and this course is the next step for her.  We had coffee together one day last week, and she asked if I would be interested in joining her on the course.  I wasn't sure at first, but I looked at the course content and it was interesting - a lot of the stuff that I am drawn to reading about anyway - so I found myself sitting in a class yesterday afternoon! 

I felt brilliant afterwards - it felt really good to have started something new, and I am sure it is the right thing to have done.  Obviously though, it is one more thing to fit into my working week, and one more reason not to sit down and write.  I am really trying to write now - I make myself sit down every day and get on with it, although my mind keeps trying to shy away.  Once I start, I am fine - the time flies by and afterwards I feel as though I have achieved something tangible - but it takes an inordinate effort to get to that position.  A monumental amount of self-discipline.

It is really odd.  I keep thinking I must do the washing first, or the cleaning - and obviously I do have to do those things (and walk the dog).  But those things, although necessary, are all displacement activities - writing is the priority, it is my chosen career and the thing that gives me the most pleasure.  So why do I have to make such an effort to get on with it?  Anyway, I will keep plugging on - probably do a couple of hours of writing first each day, before the dog walk or other chores.  Eventually it will become a habit again.

It has been a learning experience ghost-writing a memoir over the last few months - I have seen how quickly just a few hours focused work a week can mount up, and it has made me realise that I have to put similar effort into my own work.  Otherwise the weeks and months slide past without any real progress.  I published my memoir in June last year and have not written an awful lot since - well, a lot of blog posts, but not much else.  That is going to change now!

Anyway, this is one of those blog posts that is unlikely to be of interest to anybody except myself.  I will end it now, and get on with something more productive.  Perhaps even some work on my book!

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