Occasionally I have had recourse to the above twitter tag, entirely without irony, and to amuse myself.
Every week I drive to a town 90 degrees around the M25 and sit in an empty room for an hour and a half waiting for women to bring their babies and get some support with breastfeeding. More often than not, nobody comes. The area has a low birthrate and no parking.
This is not, for me, an ideal time to knit. I like to knit in company, or at least on a train. Knitting doesn’t absorb me enough to be the only thing I am doing. So a few weeks ago I started writing.
I took a decision I made a few years ago, and thought about what would have happened if I had taken the opposite decision. So yes, in some ways it is autobiographical in places, and I’ve written in the first person, in what I think is similar to my blogging style. I write for lots of different things: NCT newsletters, a reflective journal, stories for Bernard. I think blog-style is the most entertaining and readable.
Having started to follow the what-if path, I have basically just indulged in ranting about some stuff, and in granting my central character some experiences that I never had (but know lots about). They say you should write about what you know, so I’ve written about motherhood and relationships, because that’s what I know. Sometimes I read a sentence back and have to unformalise it, because it sounds like something I would say in an antenatal class. Ideas for characters come from real people, but they are not real people. That sounds like a disclaimer, but actually it’s just background.
And then I just scribbled, and scribbled, and scribbled. It’s still going on. Longhand. In notebooks. I don’t know what I will do with it when it reaches the end.