Losing My Ability…

I seem to have lost my ability to sleep during the early hours of the morning. I have become nocturnal like our three cats. Poppy, Sammy and Jenny chase each other around the house at 1 am, while I lie awake thinking.

This morning I did more than think. I wrote 6 blog posts. In my head. The ideas came out of the dark, thick and fast. I got excited. These stories will wake up my blog, I thought. Maybe Uglemor will pop over and read them. Later today I’ll get out my computer and write them all down.

All day I’ve been trying to write those stories. But I can’t find the right words. The ones I keep choosing are wearing their lead shoes on the wrong feet. They keep falling flat on the ground.

I seem to have lost my ability to write.

I am reminded of the day I lost my ability to speak. That was at our son Thomas’ wake. I knew what I wanted to say. My brain formed the words but my mouth refused to cooperate. Friends assured me it didn’t matter. I didn’t have to talk. But it did matter. It mattered a lot. I wanted to speak, tell people how I was feeling, but I couldn’t.

Likewise, I want to write but I can’t. 

I hate writing. I just want to throw writing over the cliff and be rid of it. I want to give up the struggle. Be free. Get my life back. No more searching for the right words. There’s only one problem.

I love writing. 

Uglemor, I don’t have a story after all. I’m sorry about that. How about some photos instead?

These were taken last Thursday on Imogen’s birthday. 

My six still-at-home children are looking over a cliff at a waterfall, which isn’t very spectacular because of the lack of recent rain

And now I shall finish this not very spectacular post.

The End


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    • Vicky
    • November 23, 2014

    The photos are spectacular! And it looks as though it was a spectacular day. Perhaps, that's all you need to make a spectacular post πŸ™‚

    1. Reply


      I haven't done much landscape photography. I'm not sure which settings are the best for scenery. I experimented when taking these and was pleased they weren't a total disaster! The view was definitely spectacular. It seems rather a big, maybe impossible, task to capture such beauty and vastness in a photo. Thank you so much for your encouraging words!

  1. Reply

    But it IS a spectacular post! The photos are glorious.

    "I seem to have lost my ability to write," you said. But just before that, you wrote "I can't find the right words. The ones I keep choosing are wearing their lead shoes on the wrong feet. They keep falling flat on the ground."

    People who have lost their ability to write don't write sentences like THOSE. So, I hate to say you're wrong about being right about your ability to write. But you're wrong. See, I'm right!

    And for what it's worth, I have had days – weeks – like that. When that happens, I try to go easy on myself and give myself permission to not write. Your pictures are wonderful – we'll take 'em! Your silence is fine when you need some of that – we'll be right here when you get back :)!!!!!

    1. Reply


      I don't mind if you tell me I am wrong!

      I thought you would understand my dilemma. I guess it's a common writing problem. Yes, your suggestion makes a lot of sense. I think the more we pressure ourselves to write, the harder it gets. I'm glad I did write this post though. It was very difficult to begin, but by the end of it, I was enjoying myself. Funny how difficulties come and go in an instant. While I was running this morning I had an idea for a story about our dog's teabag collection. It remains to be seen if I can find the right words when I sit down to write it!

      Thank you so much for your helpful comment!

    • San
    • November 23, 2014

    I think you are too hard on yourself!

    If for whatever reason you cannot "write" then podcast instead. I love reading or hearing you stories. For those who like to read only then providing it is not a whole heap of hassle, offer a transcript in the show notes πŸ™‚

    Angels of Abbey Creek arrived yesterday and I cannot wait to share the story with B for advent!!
    San xx

    1. Reply


      I do appreciate you listening to my podcasts (as well as reading my stories). I like your idea of a podcast transcript. Also, I thought readers could dip into the posts highlighted in the program notes if they haven't already read them. I've been enjoying looking through the archives for some old stories.

      Thank you so much for buying my book! I do hope you all enjoy it. Advent is only days away!

      Thank you for making me feel better. I love chatting with you, San! xx

  2. Reply

    Dear Sue Elvis. Thanks for your spectacular nun-spectacular photos. To me they're very different from my everyday. We have no waterfalls, only rain, Denmar is a flat country, especially where I live. The island of Bornholm (yes it's a part of Denmark even though it is situated nearer Sweden), sports cliffs and waterfalls.
    And I totally agree with Nancy Schumann about not having lost your writing mojo. That sentence was a delight to read
    I was so happy to hear from you.

    1. Reply


      I added several more unspectacular spectacular photos for you to see! I am glad you enjoyed the first ones. I love looking at photos of places different to where we live too. We could do with some of your rain. It's much too dry here at the moment. The waterfalls should be tumbling over the cliffs with lots of noise and spray.

      Thank you for your kind words. I managed to write another story today. Perhaps you're right: I haven't lost my writing mojo after all!

  3. Reply

    Love the pics especially of the wombat hole Sue! And I liked your words too πŸ™‚

    1. Reply


      Thank you so much for your encouraging words. It was kind of you to stop by and comment!

  4. Reply

    Even when you are writing about not being able to write it is wonderful writing!!! The ebb and flow, ebb and flow of words brought to life in their crafted loops of meanings. The writing life has its' own reasons and at times we are kept in the dark with our formless words or our speech refuses to uncurl. You are truly a gifted writer and I am so thankful for your posts and insights and warmth and light and love you give. And your photos say volumes!! God Bless friend!!!

    1. Reply


      I love playing around with words: choosing the right ones (hopefully!) and then deciding how to arrange them into sentences and how to arrange my sentences into paragraphs… I guess this is why I yearn to write poetry like you. i haven't got very far with my attempts!

      "our formless words or our speech refuses to uncurl" Oh I do like that very much! You write poetry within your prose. You also write such beautiful comments which make me smile. Thank you so much for stopping to share your own warmth and love. God bless you!

  5. Reply

    I second what everybody else said…because they are better at saying it than I.

    How about a hug? I am good at that… ;p

    1. Reply

      Virginia Sue,

      So glad you are good at hugs because I like receiving them. Thank you so much for this one. It feels wonderful! xx

  6. I'm so glad you posted photos of the waterfall, Sue. As I read this post I had just finished reading the birthday chapter of your book, in which the Angel family visit the waterfall! I expect there was more water falling on that rainy day! I'm enjoying your book very much.

    Thank you for sharing that you don't always find writing easy. I love how often you generously share your "process" with us. That must be one of the reasons you're such an inspiring unschooler. I'm learning lots about podcasting thanks to you, too!

    1. Reply


      Oh yes, I imagined a lot more water falling over the waterfall in my Angels story! Sometimes when it rains heavily the waterfalls are invisible. Thick cloud settles in the valley and nothing can be seen. It's just as well the Angel family made it to the lookout before the rain began to fall!

      It feels a little strange, but exciting at the same time, to hear you are reading my book. The stories do echo our lives in many ways. I hadn't thought about that birthday story when I posted the photos but you are right: That was the view I had in mind while I was writing.

      Maybe some people try and look professional when they're writing and podcasting, as if they have everything under control, but for some reason I end up confessing all my mistakes and problems! I don't think I'll ever be a 'proper' podcaster. I'm having a lot of fun though, and I'm learning a lot. I'm glad you don't mind learning too as you listen along!

      Lucinda, thank you so much for reading my book and posts, and for taking the time to listen to my podcasts. I appreciate it!

  7. Reply

    Sue, this was a great post for many reasons. 1. You conveyed the difficulty of writing. 2. You pushed forward with crafting your words to express your frustration about writing, including the intermission between thoughts to show us a photo. 3. You finished the post. 4. I enjoyed the post. It speaks to me.

    I've written things in my head that never got to paper. I have two going on in my head right now and it's possible they may make it to my blog because my notebook shows a title for one and a doodle for another. But, we shall see. I have unfinished drafts of several posts that have yet to meet an ending. I tell myself not to be discouraged because I am finally writing again. You go, Sue!

    1. Reply


      After I got frustrated with trying to write those middle-of-the-night posts, I decided just to write how I was feeling instead. It was good to get those feelings in some kind of order, and I think in writing them down, I actually got over my writing hurdle. Thank you for your four points. They are very encouraging.

      Things written in my head, especially in the middle of the night, seem so good. I am so sure I have a wonderful post in the making. It's a pity the ideas don't seem so great when morning arrives. I read somewhere that we could keep a voice recorder by the bed (maybe a phone would do) and record all those thoughts at once, instead of hoping they'll still be fresh the next morning. Perhaps by recording them, they will stop running around our minds and let us sleep. But I don't know what my husband would think if he woke up to hear me recording blog posts in the middle of the night!

      A title and a doodle? Oh that sounds promising. You just keep going and get those posts out of your head and into the computer. I am waiting to read them!

      You have SEVERAL unfinished posts? I have HUNDREDS of them! Yes, the ending is elusive at times, but I keep returning to my draft file and occasionally I see exactly how I'm going to use the post after all.

      After receiving all these encouraging comments, I seem to have moved over that hump. I have 6 posts (a different 6 to the ones I 'wrote' the other night!) I want to write. Now, which one shall I tackle first?

      Lovely to talk writing with you!

    2. Reply


      Yes, our recorded voices sound very strange! When I started podcasting I got such a surprise. "I don't really sound like that, do I?" I asked my family. Apparently I do. And it's rather surprising I went back and recorded another podcast after realising I sound so weird. I must be getting brave. Or old. Things don't seem to worry me like they did when I was younger!

    3. Reply

      Yaaaay, Sue! I tried a recorder once (when I was not married). I felt weird talking into it and then laughed at how I sounded.

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