We moved house last Friday. It was … interesting. This is what I keep telling myself – that all experiences are good experiences, because as a writer I can use them to imbue my characters with more life, more authenticity. I keep telling myself this no matter what I go through in life, and I hope that one day I will start to believe it.
But seriously, it was a pretty stressful move. From the countryside to a town; from a quiet rural idyll to a new-build estate (with another 18 months of building noise to look forward to); from big rooms to small rooms; from normal and familiar to strange and uncomfortable. We all wanted this move – we all decided it was for the best – but the reality is always harder than the dream.
And so it begins. Soon I’ll need to sit back down at my desk (once I can find my desk under a pile of boxes) and start writing again. I’m hoping I can use all these intense feelings and channel them into my writing. Right now I feel anxious, sad, excited, homesick, exhausted, confused, daunted, flat, sick, nervous, guilty, panicky, and a little depressed. And that’s without delving very deep! But it’ll pass, right? Meantime, I’ll just go on telling myself that stress is good for writers, and that there’s no such thing as a bad experience. Just an experience you can use.
May 5, 2016 at 11:10 am
7 years ago I moved from quiet seaside town to the urban connurbations of the north east – it’s hard. I don’t envy you at all and can’t imagine what’s made you go from rural idyll into town, but then you want different things at different times. Being a fair bit older than you, I am at the ‘quiet seaside town’ or ‘rural idyll’ stage in my life!!!
That was the second time I’d moved county and yes, each time it took me six months to stop feeling all those things you’re feeling right now, but they do pass!!!! I wouldn’t worry too much about channeling the feelings into your writing right now, that’ll come when it’s ready; usually, I think, you can use experiences in your writing better when they’re done and dusted. Anyway, you’ve already written Stella!!!!!
Hope you settle down soon, and the new place becomes home…. it WILL x
May 6, 2016 at 5:24 pm
Thanks Terry, you’ve really helped calm me down 🙂 I keep telling myself that the feelings will pass, everything passes, and that it will feel like home soon. And yes, I wrote Stella already! But guess what I’ve got in my new kitchen? An American-style fridge freezer!!! 😉 x
May 5, 2016 at 1:13 pm
No, I don’t think stress is good for writers – or certainly not for me as a writer (but maybe any excuse will do for me to down my writing weapons and say I cannot work!). I’ll be facing an international move soon (back to the UK), which is already stressing me out in anticipation, and other changes going on in the lives of writers (the death of someone close or divorces or empty nests) are good experiences to write about only in retrospect, after a lot of time has lapsed…
But what a shame you’ll be leaving your writing shed behind? Or will you be able to somehow take it with you?
May 6, 2016 at 5:26 pm
Don’t worry, Marina, we took it down and brought it with us! Just need to find someone to re-erect it now 😉 Very excited that you’ll be moving to the UK soon, would love to hear more about that. Sounds very stressful though
May 6, 2016 at 2:00 am
A move is good only after the event, but chaos for a few days or even weeks.
The familiar is now unfamiliar and all this takes time to acclimatize to.
Maybe allowing yourself a little time to get things straight will make it easier .Prioritize what has to be done, as opposed to what can be done and expect it to take longer than you thought.
As I am enrolled of the course that you are teaching I know that you are busy,which all adds to the time it will take to get the house straight..
It doesn’t have to be perfect, just liveable!
Expect not to be able to find things- and each day will be a little bit easier, moving is big stressor as you probably know and it will help when you can find your way around the neighbourhood and know people.
It may well generate a new piece of writing or some new ideas, but not at present when you are feeling as you do.
People make a place and you are the people to make this place your place
May 6, 2016 at 5:35 pm
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to this, Sonia – especially as I know you are super-busy too! And your words make so much sense, especially the prioritising bit! I’m going to find some paper and make a list this evening, and than hopefully start to feel a little more in control. But I’m super-grateful to the course for giving me something to focus on outside of the move, and it’s been really rewarding this time around too x
May 17, 2016 at 11:19 pm
So glad that your writing shed moved with you, I was wondering about that! The feelings you describe sound natural and it will take a while for the new place to feel like “home”. And yes, everything we go through can be channelled, somehow. Hope settled and comfortable soon take the place of the other adjectives you found.