About Write Into Life

Let’s talk about writing, learning, ageing, and well-being, and how they interact. Please join me: I learn so much from other bloggers. And I hope you’ll stay with me—I’m loving your company, and we learn from each other.

Writing pervades everything: I’m endlessly fascinated by the ways we can use writing to solve problems and improve our health and happiness. Blogging is a case in point.

Teaching: I can’t help myself. Nowadays my workshops are about non-commercial writing, ageing, and well-being. I’ll tell you about them, when they happen.

Older: it happens. I think about of my own advanced age, fear it, examine it, use it — and prepare for the years ahead, sometimes in unconventional ways. Let’s do this together, using the time-honoured tools of writing.

My web profile: trying to focus here

Writer. Teacher. Older. The last one sprang on me very suddenly. I just didn’t see it coming. That seems crazy… but it’s only human.

cghs-1954.jpg
At this stage I was a writer but neither teacher nor older. Christchurch Girls High School, 1954. (Sylvia Sheat’s face was torn off by accident, not on purpose.)

In the early days on the web, every new project or group or role demanded that I set up another website, write another book, open another social media account, until my brain was a mile of open tabs flapping in the wind.

muehlenbeckia_astonii-1

Divarication as a professional strategy

Do you know about New Zealand’s marvellous divaricating shrubs? Instead of growing as a trunk and branches and sub-branches and twigs, they grow by a process of endless splitting. There’s no hierarchy, just a mass of twiglets all of equal size, crocheting themselves together into a dense anarchic ball. The evolutionary justification was that this growth pattern prevented bushes from being eaten by moa and other ancient ground-dwelling birds.

heavy-footed-moa-te-papa-by-paul-martinson
Heavy-footed moa (pachyornus elephantopus). Image 2006-0010-1/20 from the series ‘Extinct birds of New Zealand’ Masterton. nzbirdsonline.org.nz

That’s the way I have lived my professional life. There are benefits: I’ve had heaps of fun, achieved a lot, and never been pecked by a moa. For years this proliferation has been an automatic response, a persistent habit. But lately, the online ramifications were starting to do my head in.

Stop cluttering up cyberspace!

In 2016 I was on the verge of creating yet another new website just to promote and talk about the short video courses that I intended to make. Epiphany! A little voice said, “Stop! You’re out of control! Not another website! Surely your WordPress site can accommodate this. Just make it work.” Little voice was right: the title Write Into Life easily embraces writing and teaching and dealing with old age.

The dilettante muehlenbeckia bush close up appears to be in a dither of indecision… but stand back and you’ll see it holistically as a strong structure with a striking, colourful texture.  Fortunately at this stage of life I’m finding connections, connections, connections everywhere I look. I’ll never become a Norfolk pine, but as a mature muehlenbeckia astonii I can prune myself ruthlessly.

Hence this website, which yearns (in vain) to be my only website.