Monthly Archives: July 2011

Women’s Views

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So, what do you think of the new look? I’m thinking it’s a little lighter a little more creative and a lot more fun than the old one. Maybe, just maybe, it will inspire me to post more often 😉

Whilst I’ve been very quiet here, I have been a little more active elsewhere. Mostly as a co-editor at Women’s Views on News, a not-for-profit project covering news from around the world about women. A survey carried out in March 2010 by Global Media Monitoring Project found that women are featured in only around a fifth of international news headlines and just 10 per cent of all news stories.  With women making up about 50% of the global population (give or take a few) this is clearly gender-biased inequality at work. Women’s Views on News challenges that and is aiming to redress the balance by highlighting the stories about and for women.

As well as running current news stories, the site editors also write features about issues effecting women around the world and draw attention to campaigns and groups working towards improving life for women everywhere.

So far I’ve found my time with the project really interesting and enjoyable. I have always taken an active interest in current affairs and especially equality (or all too often inequality) in the world and this has given me an opportunity to deepen my understanding of this area and to maybe make a difference to some of what’s going on. I’m getting the chance, encouragement and motivation to write regularly and to a deadline, to get published with help and advice and to learn more about what is going on in the world.

While my ultimate aim is to make a living from writing, this seems to me to be a worthwhile step in the right direction and I’m considering looking into other voluntary writing opportunities, time willing of course!

Excuses, excuses…

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I’m cross with myself, I’ve not posted for four months and that’s simply not on. It’s not to say I’ve not started a number of posts in that time, I’ve just not finished any of them. I’ve got good reason, my entire life is turning itself upside down and inside out. I’m not going to go into that here, of course, but content yourself with that as, if not justification then, explanation of my absence. It’s time to pick myself up and start blogging again.

First though, I wanted to talk a little about the effect these turbulent times are having on my creativity, particularly writing. I write for pleasure and for myself mostly I find it a cathartic process and now I want to write for others and if at all possible, for a career. But lets go back to the heart of it, journalling.

I’ve kept a diary since I was, well, old enough to write coherently. I have them all stacked in boxes and drawers, pages and pages of my thoughts, feelings, hopes and fears, little snapshots of my life. I rarely wrote daily, sometimes not even weekly or monthly, but, just as I am always reading at least one book, I was always keeping a diary. But things have changed and I no longer write in my diary.

I’ve always recognised the importance of journalling. I see it as a way to untangle the things in ones mind that you don’t wish to share with anyone, a way to self analyse without the demand for a response. It’s also a way to track your ups and downs, the ebb and flow of our inner selves. It’s a way to speak without having to share, a way to divest yourself of the emotions that, at times, threaten to overwhelm you. It is, in my belief, a healthy and good habit to get into. And I miss it. I miss it terribly.

It almost feels to me like everything is stunted now, because when I try to write, all of these other unwritten things come tumbling out, shaping and distorting what I’m trying to say until it becomes another journal entry when I’m not doing that any more. Emails, posts, comments, everything feels like it’s trying to change and merge into the journal I’m no longer keeping. Almost like those thoughts are alive, needing some sort of outlet, colouring, if not poisoning, everything I write.

I read Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors a short while ago and he said in the introduction of the collection of short stories “A few of them were written to amuse myself, or, more precisely to get an idea or an image out of my head and pinned safely down on paper; which is as good a reason for writing as I know: releasing demons, and letting them fly.”.Something about that struck a chord in me. I think he’s right, sometimes we have to write simply to let the ‘demons fly’.

So, I need to give these thoughts a little airtime, I need to let them flow through me and clear the pathways so that I can begin to write again. It’s happening, slowly and this post is a sign that those routes are beginning to clear, just a little – for now.