Don’t Annoy the Javelinas

I’ve just signed up to “14 Days to a Solid Writing Habit” on Writers’ HQ. Why? To sum, the pandemic has thrashed my brain and sucked up my writing mojo. Turns out I take a lot of inspiration (gasp) from the real world.

Also turns out you can’t just sit in your flat and eat cheese for a year and expect magic creative writing things to happen. It was a tough experiment, but after 13 months of scientific research, I have definitively proved once and for all that novels will not write themselves. In case any of you were wondering, I’ve done the hard research for you. You’re welcome.

I should be fair and kind to myself. I’ve done other creative things: lots of reflection, organising, painting, drawing, and thinking. This is all good…but my first true love, writing, has been woefully neglected.

This 14 day course promises to set up good writing habits and the community is fantastic. The Boy and I went down to one of their in-person writing marathon days in Brighton two summers ago and it was incredibly helpful, supportive, and fun. So why not?

To kick things off, today we watched an 8 minute video pep talk and were sent off into the abyss for a timed 15 minute free write on our fundamental human truth. It sounds more intense than it is – fundamental human truths are flexible and open to discussion. My 15 minutes turned into a little cheerleading sesh/free writing ramble.


I have no idea where this 14 days of jumper cable ZOLT infusing into my writing life is going to go, but I’m going to grab my flashlight and water bottle and go venturing into the dark because if summer camp taught me one thing, it’s that you don’t need to be afraid of the forest at night. Nothing will eat you. But don’t piss off the javelinas.

(Not sure if that’s spelled incorrectly or Microsoft Word is woefully uneducated about Arizonan feral bristly swine that run around snorting and eating rubbish).

And it turns out Giphy also needs some updating/educating, because this is the only thing that came up when searching “javelina” to add a gif to my post on the Writers HQ website…though I do rather like this rainbow flying tusked pig:

animated flying bristled pig on a rainbow
Found via Giphy, but original source is apparently the Nomadic Agency in Scottsdale, AZ…no surprises there!

But back to the writing: I believe that storytelling is an utterly essential and fundamental part of the human experience. I’m not just talking about books or fiction, here: telling your partner about a funny thing that happened at the shops or translating an idea into visual art (hello, javelina rainbow gif) count too.

I saw something floating around social media that “languishing” is the word to describe the last year. Basically that state of not moving forward and improving – lying prone upon the sofa, channeling the energy of a potato. Yep, that’s been my writing life.

But no longer! From this point forward, I shall channel the energy of this smiling, tusked flying feral pig. It’s not the elegant metaphor I need, but the one I deserve.


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