I was watching BBC Breakfast the other day, and was struck by one of the features - encouraging people to have more creative hobbies.
It occurred to me that, apart from writing, I have no creative output. When I want to relax at the end of a busy day writing, training at the gym and doing housework, I tend to end up back in front of some kind of screen: TV, laptop, Kindle... or I'll read a book. Words are stalking me.
I discounted a lot of the ideas in the feature - pottery (needs access to a kiln), painting/drawing (a serious lack of talent), sewing ("hahaha", says my old textiles teacher), knitting (tried it once, not keen) and music (I love music, but I am tone impaired).
But I do like jewellery. It's a new-found love - there was a point that the only jewellery I own was my engagement ring - and there's nothing quite like a wrist full of colour-clashing bracelets. It makes me think of summer.
As you can see from the photo, most of my 'pieces' are wood and leather. I tend to buy them from craft stalls at festivals, and rarely spend more than £5 on a single item. It's all about the cheap and cheerful, for me. I don't suit expensive, gold, grown-up items.
So, perhaps, jewellery making would satisfy my requirement of a hobby without a screen?
I have no idea how to start, or where to buy the supplies, but I'm keen to give it a go.
What are your favourite hobbies? Have you tried making your own jewellery, and can you give me some tips on getting started?
I recently looked at my diary for the next six (now five) weeks, and felt completely overwhelmed by all the non-writing/real-life stuff that will be happening, and made the decision to put my writing on hold.
It wasn't an easy decision - the last time I stopped writing (while pregnant and coping with a four year old) I didn't start again for a year!
This time, however, I've already started doodling in my notebooks - just the fact that I've given myself permission to not write means I want to. I'm staying away from my current projects though, avoiding my computer files and the hard-copy draft that's sitting on my shelf, and instead just letting my mind run free.
So far, without the compulsion to be at my computer for several hours a day, I have:
Sometimes, not writing is the best thing a writer can do!