Creative blocks, creative pursuits, (and a get-together**FULL)!


I've really been struggling of late with where I'm headed creative pursuit-ly (full stop, new paragraph).

Although I count myself a storyteller, I don't have the same wants and wishes that those who write are almost always expected to have...that is, be a journalist, or write a novel...the kind of 'traditional' things people think of when they're faced with a person they'd like to label so as to fit neatly into their everything-has-its-place box. I am, and most likely always will be, a writer who writes purely with the intention to share: I don't 'do' journalling, I don't have secret, just-for-me-writings tucked into notebooks, or filed away on Google docs, instead I write, as I'm doing here, to share with you.

Instagram (you knew it was coming, didn't you?!) has been a space around which I've hung, like some kind of unwashed (as you'll often find me on stories), hair lank, can't-leave-its-side-for-a-second groupie for a couple of years, my first incarnation one of the Tori's Tales (transition to Tales with Tori) variety that saw me immerse self in a there-for-me, and then self-made community. I shared honestly, with ever so slight, toes-off-the-edge abandon, speaking about creative pleasures and imagining transition to some sort of, run-it-all community leader (in a far less, Jim-Jones-sounding way) that would bring together groups of women, from across the world, for gatherings and workshops and retreats.

After things went a little...tits-up, as I not so eloquently always put it, I decided to cut my losses and start a new account, this time with the focus less-personal (aka Unfold The Day...because who knows what that means?!), with an emphasis on  poetical storytelling. This focus then turned into a facade free-for-all after we moved to Manchester - seeing a 'gap in the market' (ewww, sorry), and the numbers start to stack up, I stuck to my let's-share-all-about-the-city guns for a long time, swayed by the faint echoes of 'Hollywood is calling' (jokes) before stalling (I'm not sure exactly when, end of 2017 by my reckoning) after feeling swamped by the not-about-me-ness of it all, and the clash between behind-the-scenes talking-to-my-phone-about-me-ing of stories, and the 'polished' (because as if anything I do or share could lay claim to be being polished!) look of my city-heavy feed.

Which is why, with the turn of 2018, I found myself slave to a something-more hunger, a stirring want to shift perspective from third person human-ing to centre stage chatting once more. I decided on more images of me (which, as it turns out, isn't so easy when you're not a selfie-timer photographer-with-a-tripod person), and less history of the city, doing my darndest to make a seamless, you-can-hardly-tell-I'm-doing-it transition, before trying a cut-ties approach that...should we focus on mere numbers above all...doesn't seem to have done much in the way of working out. On top of that, I began to get a feel for once-was tastes, daydreaming once more of gatherings, and workshops, and retreats...which is where you now find me, deep in a hole of where-is-it-all-going and how-do-I-figure-it-all-out pondering!

A short while ago I had a micro-epiphany; not wanting to tie myself to instagram as the space I create for, instead wanting for my creative life outside of 4 frames to blossom and full-bloom, thinking that thanks to my thick-n-juicy IRL life, the return would be that I'd share from it to instagram, rather than conjure up stuff for insta alone (i.e. shape my IRL life around it). As of yet (and I type this at the beginning of March 2018), I've not quite been able to rev this into reality, instead focusing FAR too much on comparing where I am, and what I'm doing, with everyone else in the city (and afar) because...I'm human and that's (apparently) the sort of thing we really like to do when procrastinating over getting arses in gear and actually getting down to the nitty gritty of doing.

I've had conversation after conversation with Joyce about bringing a group of people together to chat and wander, about starting some sort of writing workshop (which is back-burner'd as I type, because the idea was to make it instagram-caption-specific and without...well, with a skewed...instagram-focus right now, I'm really not sure I can flub it and be all 'learn from me' when I'm still learning myself!), about changing my instagram content, about keeping it the same, moaning about how X and Y and Z are doing what I want to do and BOO HOO isn't it terrible that I'm not doing it (when, hiiii - I could actually be doing it, I just prefer moaning about not!) and worrying about numbers...ALWAYS worrying about numbers because, as I like to tell myself (time and time again), how can I actually do what I want to do if I 'don't have the numbers?'.  Which is why I'm here, exactly where I was, no more creatively-full, far more creatively concerned (and still worrying about the numbers) 2+months into the new year.

Most would say JUST DO IT, à la LaBeouf, but I've a tendency to be part of the 'how' group who can't seem to marry thoughts, and doing, without wanting to give up before I've really given myself a chance (because chances are messy, and first times are a bit...let's be honest and not mince our words...shit). How does (she pleads) one do it without slipping, without falling head first against the pavement and scraping knee, hitting forehead, or biting lip to leave a forever-more, Potter-esque, lightning-shaped scar? Not to be all Negative Nelly about it, but it's easy for chappies who're living their best, I MADE IT lives to say pursue pursue pursue when they're living on a shoestring in Bali, and here I am in Manchester, worrying about how to pay the bills, and still be able to go for a cup of a tea (with an accompanying slice of cake) so that I don't go do-frickin'-lally. It ain't so easy to put on keep-your-eye-on-the-prize blinkers, shut out the noise, and really just what-is-there-to-lose (my dignity! my pride! my stomach!) take first steps.

But then...what does the alternative look like (can you tell I'm just out-loud pondering now?!)? Long weekends full with questions that are never answered, angry self-sabotaging thoughts, and endless scrolls through so-and-so's 'look at how bloody great they're doing! And look at how you're doing the absolutely OPPOSITE' feed?..."Hmmm", she ponders, letting fingertips rest softly atop keys, knocking head back to meet sofa with an exhaled, from-deep-within whoosh, "I'm not so sure I like the sound of that".

To first steps, in that case.

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