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If… After… When… Once…

The Battle of The Two Rachels

“If I can get all my jobs up-to-date this week…”
“After the school holidays…”
“When the children are older…”
“Once we get this finished…”

“… my writing will get more time.” ?

Writing is a place I go to. It’s not another colour weaved into the cloth that is my life. I need to throw off that ordinary cloth and sit naked and freezing in another world, a zone that excludes all else. It’s a need that often goes unfulfilled.

We’re all different, aren’t we?

Some people, although incredibly busy in other ways, are also incredibly creative.

I’m not.

If I’m busy, I’m busy. I’m not creative.

If I’m creating, I am shutting out everything else and have let go of any practical worries.

When I have practical duties, my mind is completely taken over by an invisible list hanging in the air that I must tramp through to reach the end of my tasks. It’s a visual, almost bodily thing. Usually, if I have a lot to do, the list never ends and I never stop. Even when I am eating or lying in bed, the guilty list of duties is rolling out in front of me; showing me the future as it needs to be and playing a preview like a movie trailer of what I should and will be doing. Even if I try to give myself an hour to write, I can’t because any impending duties are tutting into their handbags like grannies who have arrived early at a bus stop.

There’s no room for creativity when life is like this for me.

Sometimes I don’t even answer emails from people I want to reply to. It’s as if a force is saying, ‘No, you’re not being that person at the moment. You’re being the other person.’

I don’t think the 2 Rachels will ever learn to live alongside one another. They are constantly fighting and refusing to share time. All I can hope is that the practical Rachel grows old and tired before the creative Rachel. Because it’s the creative one I like best. I feel like crying when I haven’t seen her for a while.

Even if she is a little selfish.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. I just can’t switch from one mode to another either – it takes time to get into the creative mood, so this idea of writing for 15 mins doesn’t really work for me. But I’ve never been a great multitasker either (being a man obviously!)


  2. Yep – I have this two-person syndrome too – very well put – as always..


  3. Me too. Two Astrids. At least. The creative Astrid supposed to do something with the creative Rachel is a bit… absent. Sigh. Enjoyed the post though. Trying to bring her back by diving into blogs. Come on, even half an hour at the time, I say to her. Even if my diary looks shocking till mid July. Now. This weekend. Maybe.


  4. Very nicely put. Writing needs a bit of space.



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