Writing workshop: sieves and mantras

For Writing Workshop #14 from Josie at Sleep is for the weak:

1. What is your personal motto?

As I sat frowning with my hands poised over the keyboard, having typed the addresses and with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ hanging ominously at the top of a blank page, my old mantra came back to me.  These are the words that adorned the welcome screen of my mobile phone and flashed boldly in pink on my screensaver at work:


Sage advice for a stroppy soul like me.  You see, being furious is easy.  It’s a little harder, true, to channel that fury into actions that might get results.  And it’s even more tricky to supress that anger and seethe quietly, remaining outwardly composed.  But the supreme challenge is taking a deep breath, exhaling and genuinely letting it go.

When you’ve re-filled the toy box for the fourteenth time that morning.
When the supermarket run is met with an exasperated *sigh*, drifting forth from the rear car seat (like it’s going to float your boat).
When those limpet lips are clamped shut on presentation of your spoon, after you’ve boiled, mashed, pureed and pulverised all morning.
When work encroaches, niggling away at your subconcious as you’re trying so hard to be with your children.
And when that bloody shop assistant turns away from you to yak away with her cohort, draping an arm casually across the counter in anticipation of you meekly sliding a bank card between her limp fingers.

This is when you should let it all go properly.  Now, what did my mum say?  Lift your head as if you’re a puppet with a string running from your crown to your heels that someone’s pulling taught. Drop those shoulders back. Eyes ahead, or closed if you prefer. Feet flat on the ground. And…inhale through the nostrils…that’s it, blow up that beach ball inside you…now exhale through the mouth….aaaaand relax.

Feeling better? No?!  Okay then.  Grasp the keyboard at either end….raise your arms slowly above your head…now inhale deeply…aaaand….WHACK!!



And I can’t help adding something which could come under 3. Write a letter to something that you own, that you love, or maybe that you hate, or perhaps 5. Talk about a time where you found something magical in the mundane…

…Because I’m loving a certain bit of kitchenware I bought myself recently (how sad).  Somehow it reminds me of my Gran, who was the kind of woman to have dead poultry hanging in the pantry:

I raise a glass of Bollinger

And toast thee, lovely colander

Suspended from your kitchen rail

O sleek, enamel, holey grail


4 Responses to Writing workshop: sieves and mantras

  1. dadwhowrites says:

    Nice colander. “Let it go” is the kind of advice I hand out at work a lot (and seldom listen to..)

  2. I am RUBBISH at letting it go. I am far better at holding on to something until I forget to breathe.

    I shall try you keyboard smashing therapy – that sounds like a ‘letting it go’ technique I could put some welly behind.

    Thanks for this! Welcome to the Workshop!

    • jinedin says:

      Ha ha! I remember doing Jane Fonda workouts in school and she kept saying ‘Don’t forget to breathe’; at the time we thought this tremendously funny but now we all know what she meant, don’t we?! Just make sure you’ve got your backup keyboard ready before the smash – we wouldn’t want to miss out on the next workshop…!
      Love your blog. Well done for getting us all thinking…

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