This is a picture of my garden. My garden is full of weeds.
I mean, yes, there are a couple of big pots of sweetpeas that are doing really well, a geum that I’ve mistreated for years that has flourished anyway, and the one nasturtium that I bothered to sow in the spring is just coming into flower. I’ve got some wild strawberries that have put runners out everywhere and a raspberry bush that’s not totally knackered. There’s cat mint and a geranium and foxgloves and they all periodically get overwhelmed by common mercury, green alkanet and herb robert. Gayla Trail calls plants that come up by themselves ‘volunteers’ (whether they’re wanted or not), and I prefer that to calling them weeds. My garden is heavily reliant on the voluntary sector 😬
I have to rely on plants that take care of themselves because I’m really not that good at maintaining the garden every day. In fact the thing I find hardest in the world is to keep doing the same thing regularly. I never tried to started posting here regularly because I was afraid I’d quickly tail off into nothing. I’ve used it to ‘announce’ things, knowing that that was more timeless and it wouldn’t matter that I didn’t put something up every week. Also, I wouldn’t call myself a perfectionist, but I’m probably too careful about writing; I draft and redraft things for years. You’re supposed to kill your darlings but I’ve properly murdered some stories, sapping the life out of them slowly over time.
Recently though I’ve got a lot of pleasure out of making small things for people – birthday cards, little drawings, poems – and posting them out. Drawing and painting more has made me feel a bit freer and easier about making things. They don’t have to be fancy! They don’t have to be the best thing you’ve ever done! Making something tangible and physical that can be finished in an afternoon is a relief compared to stories that need weeks or months of work. Let alone novels. (Novels. Argh.)
I feel like I could retitle this ‘the problems of creating with ADHD’. The other issue I have is: inconsistency in content. The short stories I’ve published have been science fiction, and the obvious thing would be to write more stories in the same style – ideally, a novel with similar themes – and create a nice neat brand around that. But I can’t do it! Recently (i.e. the past year) I’ve been working on a novel with no SF/non-realist content at all. Embarrassingly realist! And now I’m drawing as well.
So I am giving up. I’m not being careful anymore; from now on I’m slinging everything I make onto a big slag heap and will let it live its life without me. My garden’s full of weeds and you get to see them all. Some of them even have pink flowers. Do you know how gorgeous bindweed is? White trumpets that glow at dusk.
I’m adding a lot of things to instagram – mostly poems and drawings, but I’ll collect some of them here and also put some longer bits of writing here. Weirdly, according to wordpress stats, this page does get visitors despite never ever being updated. I guess now you’ll have something to look at?
(Apparently it’s not possible embed IG content any longer, but here’s a link.)