when the words won’t come


It has been a pretty long while since I have written here.

Twenty months into this journey of motherhood, there is so much I want to write about. Little stories from our daily life. Reflections on this new (and still at times overwhelming) adventure that is motherhood. My highs and lows as I find my creativity returning, little by little.

And yet. Every time I come back to this place, I open the page in the expectation that the words will appear…then they don’t. I had always taken it for granted that word craft was like breathing for me, something I didn’t really think about and that didn’t require much effort. Like knitting. Then I became a mama. And both these parts of my life suddenly became incredibly arduous. Which has been such a shock. I had anticipated motherhood would bring about big changes in my life. But I just could not have imagined that I would struggle so profoundly to make it to the end of a row. Nor to find the words.

Just as knitting has been a common thread stretching down the years from childhood to adulthood, so too my previous life was bound inexorably to language. I worked for a number of years as a freelance translator and peripatetic language teacher, and before that I spent six years as an undergraduate unravelling the mysteries of the French language. So to find myself so tongue tied has been hard to say the least.

It would be so easy to give up on this little space. To decide that instead of leaving it here lingering and open to change, I will just close the shutters & lock the door. To make a clean break of it. But that would be a bit like me deciding this time last year to gather up my yarns & knitting paraphernalia and donate them to the local charity shop because I was struggling to pick up my needles. And that would have been a real shame. So instead, I shall just leave a little window ajar, in the hope that if I keep looking for the words and making space for them, they will eventually return to me.

If I’m daring to hit the publish button tonight, it’s because I felt so heartened to read Ruth’s words a few days ago. Hers is a blog that I come back to time and time again, and to read her own thoughts on her own journal keeping made me feel so encouraged. Whilst I find the excitement & buzz of other online gathering spaces to be a source of stimulation & inspiration, I must admit that I am particularly fond of those smaller, quieter and more meaningful places of connection and sharing that can still be found in blogs. Over there it often feels like being at a very crowded, very noisy party, albeit one filled with very kind & lovely folk. There is an energy and a creativity to be found there in the thronging crowd, but sometimes I can find it all a little overwhelming and exhausting. However visiting a favourite blog feels more like being invited round a dear friend’s house for a cup or tea and a knit. A moment to share some meaningful conversations about life & knitting whilst we quietly work on our respective projects. Ruth’s blog is just one such lovely place, here are some other friends & favourites I continue to visit.

So whilst I cannot tell you when I shall next drop by here, nor where or how I intend to take this journal, consider it a renewal of my intention to keep that little window open. And to keep showing up for the words.

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  1. Oh Fran! These words could be mine. There is so much to be said on this…
    I share this tongue tied feeling with you. I’ve been blogging for almost 10 years and had never struggled with “what to write” until now. Not only because time is now scarse, with a young child, and every trip I make to a place with WiFi is a frenzy run to check all my internet to-do list before she wakes up, but also because… Instagram.
    Being on IG makes communication so direct, instant and with assured feedback. It is “small”, fits our pockets and is fast. But there’s too much over there. I feel this too. It’s overwhelming. It’s like opening a window to a tempest and all the wind rush into our home. Don’t read me wrong. I love IG! The community we find there is nourishing and warm. You and I met there 🙂 (so happy for that day!)
    And blogging starts to feel like books in the era of digital. But I love it so much. Just as you said, is like being round the table feeling welcomed. I think often about deleting IG and go back to just blogging and giving more of myself to it… but the community we’ve created on IG is too dear now and I don’t want to lose it <3
    What a ramble.
    I'm happy you'll continue this blog. It feels like being close to you.
    Much love to you all <3 xxx

  2. Well my dear friend, you have most certainly not lost any of your word-smithing magic, just perhaps time…energy. Energy that ebbs naturally as priorities shift. I started my little blog hoping to record a day to day treasury of our wee boy’s life, and my knitting adventures, but it simply fell away as time closed over any spare headspace that maybe I once had. I think, even if we could manage to post just a few times a year, as the passage of time marches on, we’d have a treasure trove of memories to glance back over and hold close to our hearts. As with your whole philosophy (your brand, if you will, thinking of your recent bear related musings) it’s all about SLOW, meaningful, deliberate. So your frequency, for want of a word, in this space, is pretty perfect x x

  3. Dear Cousin ,

    I always adore you blog posts . You are magical with words. I have just found the new profound joy of auntiehood .. yesterday was the 1 st time I pushed the pram a little way .. and found myself talking to my darling niece while having a cuddle telling her all about things we can do in the Kicthen later on. I’ve started to write my blog for work It makes me excuited feel like it’s a school project as each post takes a while to write with doing lots of drafts then having my web lady to double check my English . I have a new excuiting post coming out all about the coffee mongers which are kindred spirits … I

    I find the days I am not on top form are helped by writing now as feel I am still taking positive steps towards making my dreams a reality.

    I hope you are all doing fine and look forward hopefully seeing you at beach some time this year , and watching you talk to your Miss Witt senior not just as cousins know but as mothers to ! Lots of love xxxx

  4. oh Fran, this is such a lovely post. I couldn’t agree more with your comparisons of Instagram and blogging- that’s exactly what I was referring to! I so enjoy following along with your journey, regardless of how often or in what forms you decide to post and I think there is something to be said for giving ourselves the space to share in a way that feels meaningful.
    much love to you.

  5. Hi! I just discovered your blog and it was lovely to find these words. We, a family of four with two little ones, just moved from the city into a very quiet little place (but with much more space and light and serenity) and I found that your comparison of the two places – the noisy party and the dear friend’s house – fit well to what i feel about our move. I will come here regularily from now on to read the old posts and looking forward to finding a new one someday.

    all the best!

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