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Free writing to find your authentic voice

Free writing to find your authentic voice Photo by Lane Smith on Unsplash How do you deal with overwhelm?   This week has been a challenge. Fences blowing down, work time lost and the curse of overwhelm sapping my writing juices. I started a blog that hasn’t come together in time for my #Write52 entry. As good blogs should, it has a clear line of argument, showcases some of my knowledge and (hopefully) will be helpful to my audience (well, my target audience. No idea if this is actually being read by anyone but me. If you are here – hi and welcome. It’s lovely to meet you). But the blog’s not done. And in the wee smalls of this morning, it haunted me. Along with everything else on my perpetual to-do list. And what happens when I get overwhelmed? I grind to a complete halt. Like the proverbial ostrich, I just want to hide away from the world and stick my head in the sand. So, I reached out to my Discord copywriting crew for advice (I’d honestly be lost without my freelance family) and the lovely Anna suggested free writing to break through my inertia and just let it all out. And I thought – this could be my blog. The writing equivalent of base-jumping – no clear objective other than to get something down. Channelling my stream-of-consciousness. To [mis]quote Elsa – LET IT FLOW.   So this is me. Right now. Authentically. And here’s a snapshot of my world. This moment in time: It’s sunny out, but grey clouds are lurking. Smallest boy is eating sausage rolls in front of CBeebies. I can smell the potato baking in the oven for my husband’s lunch. The washing machine is spinning, rocking and rolling. I feel bad that I didn’t put the wash on early enough to catch the morning sun, and now I don’t think I can get away with hanging it out. This week the rain has been cheeky, sporadic, frustrating. Laundry plans have been thwarted and the basket is overflowing. I’m reclining on the sofa, flitting between laptop and phone, fannying about on Twitter, Discord, Outlook and Facebook, not getting anywhere fast. Messy is apparently going to Okido (me neither). This morning, I spent too much time drawing a simple flow diagram in Word for a client’s website, to visualise a proposal. I’m annoyed that it took so long. I also feel guilty for ordering a large Costa on Deliveroo. And a sandwich I could have made myself. Now I’ve rocketed to planet caffeine. It’s jittery underfoot and the climate is foggy. I’m quite possibly away with the fairies, too. Is this what it feels like to be a proper-coffee drinker? And I feel guilty I haven’t spent more time playing with smallest boy. Friday is meant to be our day. But then again, I lost yesterday to fence-gate*. My beautiful, capacious new mugs have just been delivered, too. Mostly capacious. One is smaller than the others and I’m debating whether it’s worth sending back (returning stuff is such a hassle, sometimes I don’t even bother. I am aware these are not the actions of a sensible grownup). Or is this mugg-ist? Would it be mean of me to send back the Tiny Tim of drinkware? Now the clock ticks on, and it’s time to nip out in search of a suitable present for a 5-year-old girl before the school run. This afternoon will be a riot of socially-distanced, post-school chaotic energy, fancy-dressed birthday fun in the park. I’ve been told there will be tea available for parents, if I bring my travel cup. Little things mean a lot.   And there we have it. Brain tapped. Blog written. Job done. What did it achieve? My Write52 goal, at least. Possibly showing my personality on the page. Maybe nothing much. Maybe lots.     *Not an actual gate in the fence. Just the saga of our back-garden fence blowing down in Tuesday’s storm. Husband (quite rightly, because of the weather) took what should have been my full work day, to dig out the broken fence posts, set new ones in concrete and repair the whole sorry mess. I was on childcare duty. Sulking, if I’m honest. I eventually started work at 3.30pm, by which time I was so unfocused I just made some OMB doggie haircut entries and tinkered with ideas for a jingle.  I still feel unreasonably cross about it all.
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