Wednesday, 28 April 2010

In Search of the Blogging Light

When I was pregnant with The Youngest, I decided that the one morning a week that my partner had off work and was prepared to spend looking after Middle Son, I would spend attending an ante-natal yoga class. I remember being particularly tired during that last pregnancy - having two children already to care for aswell as two part-time cleaning jobs that I had to squeeze into any available nursery hours all took its inevitable toll on my energy levels - and so I figured that the relaxing benefits of yoga would do both me and my unborn child good. I had a friend who was at a similar stage of pregnancy to me and so we made an arrangement to meet up every Tuesday morning and dutifully roll up at our local 'healing centre' to be put through some gentle yogic paces.

The woman who taught us and who also owned and ran the healing centre had - I remember - all these gilt framed pictures up everywhere of another woman whom she described as being her 'guru' - a woman with long grey hair and a serene expression, who held her palms together as if in prayer and who always appeared in every picture to be wearing exactly the same long multi-coloured caftan. The teacher herself always wore sandals with these strange little bells on them that would knock together every time she made so much as the slightest movement, producing tiny little tinkly noises that seemed to echo on and on. She also insisted on being called a completely made up (and rather exotic and bohemian sounding) amalgamation of her first and last names, despite the fact that she already had a perfectly serviceable ordinary first name and that far from actually hailing from anywhere exotic she in fact came from a large grey commuter town just off the M1. Needless to say it was fairly clear to me from the start that ours was not a match made in heaven.

I stuck with the yoga though as I enjoyed the actual physical exercises and the 'me time' that it afforded, but as my pregnancy progressed my tolerance decreased, and I became more and more irritated with she of the pretentious name and the tinkling sandals. I remember one particular morning coming home from a class, stomping into the kitchen and slamming my keys down on the table, all of which had the immediate effect of causing my partner to fall about in fits of helpless laughter. He just about managed to blurt out, 'Gappy, it's yoga. It's not supposed to make you angry' before once again dissolving into a puddle of mirth - at which point I launched into a frustrated rant about how when I had mentioned how little sleep I was getting because the baby seemed to want to practice its somersaults as soon as I laid down - she had actually asked me what sort of visualisations I might want to focus on in order to enable my baby to relax. 'Has it not occurred to this woman that I might simply have an active baby and that my lack of sleep may not in fact be the result of some f***ing fault on my astral plane,' I raged - by which point my partner was laughing at me so hysterically that he nearly fell off his chair.

I only went again a few times after that. It was official. Pregnancy yoga was bad for my blood pressure. However, what might have remained a distant memory has now come to the fore again for me because I have been reminded in recent days of how at the end of the yoga class we would always do a short session of meditation in which we were encouraged to try to clear our minds and think of nothing. 'Well'... I can remember thinking at the time... 'This is ridiculous. It's impossible to think of nothing. Who thinks of nothing? I can't think of nothing, there is far too much in my head to even contemplate thinking of nothing.

Little did I know that almost four years later I would begin writing a blog and that all of a sudden the concept of being able to clear ones mind and think of nothing would not only make perfect sense, but that thinking of nothing would in fact become a common occurrence. Indeed that whenever I sat down to try to write a blog post, my mind would immediately and inexplicably go completely blank and that I would find myself suddenly incapable of thinking of anything at all. Oh how I long to go back to my old yoga teacher and tell her that I've cracked it - that I have achieved enlightenment and ascended to that higher plane - and all as a result of having been inspired by that well respected guru:

This has been my version of the post that everyone writes eventually... The 'Help, I can't think of anything to write' post. And so with it
I am asking: Where does your inspiration come from? When and where do you come up with your best ideas? And what the bloody hell do you do when you really can't think of anything to write about?


  1. Love the yoga class lack of relaxation thing! Blogging much more theraputic...


  2. Maybe I am still new at this, but have not had a lack of ideas. Some days though the words flow faster and better and other days I need to read and reread and tweek and tweek again.

    Maybe I have it easy cause I write about a lesson in life each day and there is always something new to learn.

    i have also had other ideas which I generally write on other people's blogs.

    My problem is lack of time.

    Sorry i was not much of a help.

    actually someone once told me to just randomly pick a word in the dicitonary and start writing about it.

  3. It would never have occurred to me that this was a "nothing to write about" post. I found it quite fleshy. Its so funny, the disconnect between what that teacher thought she was representing and what you were actually receiving. Maybe thats why so many poeple try to be invisible.

  4. I actually never, ever managed, after years of yoga and relaxation and meditation, achieved the thinking of nothing ideal. EVER. I just leant to focus on less. One thing at a time, one sensation, one image. But never nothing.

    My advice for the bloggers block is rubbish I'm afraid. The only thing that as ever worked for me in that respect, when the ideas just won't come is to take a break. Get outside, do something different outside of your normal routine. Read a new book, watch a new film, go somewhere new. And stop trying.

    It's only when I stop trying that the ideas start to creep back. But I know that's probably not what you want to hear :)

  5. If I'm lacking inspiration I do one of two things: buy a newspaper, get suitably outraged by something and then write about it, or I just don't write. I decided awhile back not to force my blogging. I'm just not a five times a week kind of blogger. I think my average is two or three. And I'm fine with that. Quality over quantity, I say!

  6. I'm still new at this, so haven't got to that stage yet, sorry. Am interested in some tips for when the inevitable moment does come, though!

  7. When I can't think what to write, I write rubbish hence my zillions of labels. Might have something to do with my original plan just to write about housing and missing writing when there was "nothing going on". I never know day to day what I'll write but hope that I don't stop because blogspot is a bit of a life line for me.

  8. I keep a jottings book of complete idiocy, small bit so ideas that never really fully form and when in doubt grab those and see what happens! Your's was brilliant by the way!

  9. Becky, blogging is very therapeutic isn't it - I love it.

    Susie, I'm very envious. At first I was full of ideas, but it seems to have slowed down and now I have to try harder you know? Every now and then I'll have a 'spurt' and a few posts will flow easily, but then things will slow down again and it's quite frustrating. The desire to write hasn't gone, I just can't think of anything to write about sometimes.

    Saint Delores, thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. Will pop over soon.

    Josie, That sounds like very sound advice to me. It's the intuitive thing to do I think. I keep thinking that I will have a break for a couple of days and read some books (do you know I have not read a single book since having been gripped by blogging fever which makes me feel strangely guilty) but I find it incredibly hard to tear myself away. I think 'ooh I'd just better check my e-mail, oh and I'd better check Twitter while I'm at it, and that's it. I'm sucked in and a whole evenings gone. I WILL read a book this week!

    Noble Savage, I agree with you about the quality over quantity thing. Some people are able to write quality posts every day, but I just can't. Writing is quite a slow process for me and I'm the same as you really - two or three times a week seems to work best for me.

    Julie B, You could well find that you are one of the lucky ones and that you escape the worst of the bloggers block. Don't feel put off by my navel gazing!

    Stigmum, I find that when I force it, I just write crap anyway. It's not worth it. But I'm sure that you're never short of new material when you consider the state of social housing in the u.k. Where I live it is not uncommon for families to be living in temporary housing for over a year!

    Tattie Weasle, A note book is a very good idea - I might just start doing that.