Monday, March 25, 2013

On Confidence, Life and Writing

Today I was feeling cooped up in the house, so I took the laptop outside to the garden. I sat under my favourite tree, which has the best, coolest shade in the whole yard. It was very nice working there, and I only moved when the sky got dimmer and it looked like it was going to rain. I am now blogging from bed to the sound of rain, with curtains open so I can watch the water.

Creative writing
The muse is still around,  but I'm still a hesitant writer, not fully confident in my vision and my words. I have learnt something about myself through this process though, and it was not a pretty thing. And that is, I became less brave when I moved to Phokeng. Less willing to stand out; taking fewer chances in life and therefore, stifling my creativity and  focussing it on activities that won't make me stand out.

I even know where that problem comes from. I was born to a  very pragmatic, rigid community ( my perception) where it's all  about doing things a certain way.  People have well-defined roles and by and large, that doesn't involve being creative. Starting a business, getting tertiary education, being involved in community development, climbing the career ladder- there's the ticket! But who has the time to write/do crafts/paint unless it's a wall?

In all my years, I have yet to meet practicing artists, musicians, writers and other creatives who were born/grew up here. So there is a part of me that fears that being me in all my glory means being exposed. Kinda feel like I'm an animal at the zoo every time I mention that I'm a writer.

I hope that you don't misunderstand me; these are nice people who have gone out of their way to welcome me back and be friendly. But then, if feels to me like they have no idea what to do with me afterwards. So the inspiration that comes from meeting and chatting with like-minded people; that buzz that I could almost feel in the air, is not there.

Of course I do have friends who "get" that aspect of me and we email each other regularly, talking about anything and everything that we do, think about/see. We share photos of whatever catches our fancy, be it a new dress my friend bought or a new hairstyle one of us just did. So I just need to be a little braver about my life. Be who I want to  be. Write what I like. Write what I want to know. Forget about everyone else and stop attributing things to people who may not feel as I fear.

Client work

Thank God for client work. It makes me feel like I'm doing something. A local NGO has asked me to do a web site for them.  I'm doing a proposal, so they can decide if we are a match. To be honest, I'm not yet convinced we are, but I am open to discussing it. They came to me by way of my older brother, who attends church with the director (word of mouth still works!) so I'm grateful they are even considering me.

The garden
Kelebogile, the part-timer gardener who helps me with the heavy lifting, prepares the soil for me to transplant seedlings.

We are still transplanting roma tomatoes from the damaged ones we threw on the beds as we were harvesting.  I was also pleasantly surprised by the fact that Roma bush can stay healthy enough through autumn and give us another batch of fruit. I'm planning to do some more planting in a week.

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