Sometimes writers run out of ink….

That’s where I find myself today.

It’s not writer’s block. It’s writer’s bleak.

It’s raining and the ‘bleak’ has set it.  I know it’s diaphanous. I can put my hand right through it like it’s Caspar the Not-so-friendly Ghost. And yet it clings to me. A cold mist. And it feels so real because its breath summons the hairs on the back my neck, bristling them like the quills on a frightened caterpillar.

It will lift. I know this because I am the ‘bleak’ and the lighthouse.

Today I have no ink. I’ve run dry.

With two books scheduled for release this year and two more being considered by people in the world of publishing, I can afford to rest a notch. I will relax and sink into the softness beneath the ‘bleak’ like a dive beneath the breaking waves that roll tumultously above without buffeting me about in their chaos.

The ‘bleak’ is like the Nothingness in The Never-Ending Story. It rolls in like a thundercloud, dark and menacing and it obscures the ‘everything’ as it envelops and laps over the terrain of my mind.

But I have learned to read the weather-charts and can smell the petrichor easing up from the soil beneath my feet, up, up, into my nostrils, the tinny scent that heralds rain. I am ready when the ‘bleak’ rolls in. I rug up, take a deep breath, put down my quill and batten down the hatches. Sleep is good. Reading other writers’ words is good. Today is for soft, downy pillows, a blanket fort and some David Sedaris because god knows I’m not in any mood for Virginia Woolf.

It is actually raining. Out of the sky. A Lorikeet, fluffed and soggy, sits at my window, staring at me and I know exactly how she feels.

I will start my new writing project soon. Not today. Probably not tomorrow.

But deep, deep down in the subterranean cavern of my grey matter, a little bell rings and a tiny golden speck of light glows. My lighthouse is there. I’ll navigate my way past the rocks tomorrow. Or maybe the day after that.

It’s okay to ride the ‘bleak’. It’s okay to be grey.

Pen down and breathe…..



It’s Monday. I am listless. I feel just a little bit sick. Not urgh sick. Just icky sick. I am a bit flat. I know that writing lifts me up and away from these human distractions. Once I’m in the flow it’s go-go-go and I can be anywhere and anyone. I can create characters and make them brave and daring and sometimes…sometimes I can kill them with one stroke of a pen. Writing makes me feel powerful. I walk around my empty house in my slippers and tattered p’j’s. My back aches. I’m jittery from too much coffee. There is mess. Dishes. Beds to make. But more importantly…there are words to write.

I made myself a promise about five years ago and that was to write something creative every day – no excuses. I’ve kept my promise to myself because writing is my one true thing. It is my life-raft, my safety valve, my very salvation. I am prone to the snarl of the black dog. It bares its teeth and growls at me from time to time. It bites and tears at my flesh and leaves me bleeding and ragged during particularly vicious attacks. But I’ve found that writing is my secret weapon and sends that dog limping away with its tail between its legs, whimpering, afraid.

I write, therefore I am.

Sometimes I feel that I would simply evaporate if I was not wrapped up and defined by the shape of letters and the smooth sleek lines of sentences. I shuffle down into paragraphs like a free-fall into quilted clouds.

Today I will write of laughter and majesty because writing is my magic, my mojo.

I write, therefore I am. What I spin onto the page is Rumplestiltsken straw into gold. I make things happen. I can take an icky day and make it gleam. I can save the world. I can move mountains with a few taps on a keyboard. I paint with words. I can make pictures. Moving, visceral, pulsing worlds of words. I can bring the impossible to life. I can be God.

As a little girl, I found comfort in books. My first love was Heathcliff. I learned to be the person I am from books. Now, I find that words are my breath and words keep me balanced. Someone asked me recently what my favourite word was and I couldn’t think of one. I think now that I shall choose WORDS. WORDS.

Today I am going to create a character that embodies everything I wanted to be when I grew up. I am going to invent my super-self. And maybe….just a little bit of this character will seep into my bones and make me stronger….happier…less icky. More Nikki.

WORDS. Thank-you words for reaching out and pulling me to my feet. I love you.