Humor Life Writing

What To Do When The Power Is Out

6th December 2018

Regular readers will know of my quest to find a writing space this year. Both an actual writing room and the headspace to use it.

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Well, take now for instance. I’m back at the kitchen table surrounded by my favorite notebooks, with real words in them, some Christmas cards, puzzles, books, glitter, paint, and cheese snacks. The dishwasher’s on, it’s supposed to be one of those quiet ones, but it isn’t actually.

I’m halfway done with my coffee and my favorite coffee machine is rinsing itself. It does that.

I have plans every day that I’m going to sneak into the office when Neil is done with it for the day. But we hang out, which is nice. If I do go into the office it’s too quiet in there, except for Isla going, LET’S BE QUIET.

The first time I went in for a dedicated writing session recently, I banged out 938 words.

And then I stopped.

Don’t stop.

The next day was 527.

Photo by Samule Sun on Unsplash

The next day the power went out, on the whole island.

I thought it was my fault for going back to bed when Isla left for school. The minute I opened my book, the lights went out. I blew a fuse. Or something.

‘We blew a fuse’, I said to Neil when he got back from the school run.

‘So’s the whole island,’ he said. ‘It’s a landslide.’

‘Now I hafta listen to Stevie Nicks, dude.’

‘No power, dude.’

And so, we lit candles. They were scented, and Neil started sneezing.

‘We can’t use deeze’, he said.

‘It’s the only time my house doesn’t smell of friggin’ farts. LET ME HAVE MY MOMENT.’

That was the day I got an actual letter in the post from my best writer friend who writes me actual letters. And I actually read it by candlelight. Because we had no power.

Reading hand-written letters has always made me want to write NOW.

So, I’m writing. And the school calls. They’re closing. So I close my notebook.

We play games and listen to music using Neil’s bluetooth speakers in the kitchen.

We light more candles and have dinner, and venture into the rest of the house trading a flashlight hat. Our friend from this travelling post had one, and Isla was fascinated by it, so he gave it to her. Strangely useful gift.

By the time the power came back I was feeling so cozy and analog, I didn’t want it back.

No real writing session that day, but it was kinda the best day of recent times. And I’m writing about it now.

My point is, go with the flow, I guess. Write where you’re at.

A few days ago, the prompt over at Bridge To The New Year was ‘What is something you want to achieve before 2018 ends, no matter how small it seems?

And I wrote:

Really, just dedicated writing time, and space. This is a bit of a busy house, considering only three people live here. I keep calling space as mine, but then corners are cut. Only I can do the work, but I also need to get better at boundaries and blinders, so more words get written.

After I declared that, I didn’t write anything. I said I was going to write after Isla went to bed, but I sit there. When I want quiet and I get it, IT’S TOO QUIET. And maybe I’m not a night writer any more, because I’m working on these words at 11 am. Yes, the table is crowded and in my kitchen, but I’ve written enough that I don’t notice the shit anymore.

I just have to allow myself to get in the zone, and then where it happens doesn’t matter.

Which brings me nicely to something I’d like to let go of next year, and that is PROCRASTINATION.

And maybe it’s strange, but for someone big on procrastinating, it isn’t a lack of motivation that’s the issue.

I have goals, but in the past I’ve also had excuses. I’m going to work on those, too.

And so, if you’re a goal-oriented recovering procrastinator, join me on this journey. Or something.

Maybe the power should go out more often.



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  • Reply Nicole 6th December 2018 at 2:22 pm

    The farts. Oh, how I relate. Ha!

    • Reply Lorna 6th December 2018 at 3:59 pm

      Oh, the pitfarts of preschool writing. No, wait.

  • Reply ellenbest24 6th December 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Mine would sneeze too what is it with some candles! I have tea lights to hand and torch app on my phone and bigger writing I am getting mushy when mine go out. Grab while the lighting is low I say. Love your posts as always.

  • Reply ellenbest24 6th December 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Bugger writing but bigger would work too. 😃😞😁

    • Reply Lorna 6th December 2018 at 3:33 pm

      I’ll leave them both in, it’s like a madlib. Thanks, Ellen! x

      • Reply ellenbest24 6th December 2018 at 4:08 pm

        A mad something 😂🤣

  • Reply Michelle Westbrook (@michellewestbrk) 6th December 2018 at 3:04 pm

    I love moments like that – when the power goes out, when I’m camping, or somewhere out in nature – without technology. It reminds me to slow down. take a breath, and enjoy the simple things in life 🙂

  • Reply Rebecca Moon Ruark 6th December 2018 at 3:51 pm

    YES to all that. And, really, I’m finding that unless I leave all modern conveniences–like electricity–behind, I’m distracted from writing. I think you’re right in that the best writing space can just be a good writing headspace–a mood or whatever gets you going. Here’s hoping we can all find that space in the new year!

  • Reply Ritu 6th December 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Definitely a reminder to self 😍

  • Reply johnrieber 6th December 2018 at 7:20 pm

    I’ve changed my point of view on procrastination – I think it motives me to go “other” places, both physically and mentally. These “things” that I am supposed to do push me away, and into other areas that give me more satisfaction. Are some of those “things” important and need to get done. We’ll see…

  • Reply josypheen 6th December 2018 at 10:03 pm

    I guess you could buy a dodgy toaster that blows fuses for you…so you can have regular analogue days!? It’s all good if it gets you writing and happy. 🙂

    • Reply Lorna 7th December 2018 at 10:16 am

      Had one in our old flat. Novelty wore off quickly. Belated happy birthday, by the way. x

      • Reply josypheen 7th December 2018 at 4:46 pm

        Thank you!! <3

  • Reply thatblogwherecheriemovestogermany 7th December 2018 at 12:30 pm

    I love that you have a friend that will write real letters. I miss that so much. A lost art.

  • Reply rachaelstray 7th December 2018 at 2:13 pm

    How long was the power out for?

    • Reply Lorna 7th December 2018 at 2:30 pm

      From 9 am to 8pm. After whatever happened happened, they staggered turning us back on so we didn’t blow up, I guess.

      • Reply rachaelstray 7th December 2018 at 3:34 pm

        Makes sense. The hat with the light sounds brilliant though!

        • Reply Lorna 7th December 2018 at 3:37 pm

          Hours of fun, ha!

  • Reply Traci York 7th December 2018 at 3:06 pm

    “I also need to get better at boundaries and blinders, so more words get written.”

    That statement is ALL THE THINGS! Totally relate, and now I’m almost hoping for a power outage to inspire me…lol!

    • Reply Lorna 7th December 2018 at 3:09 pm

      You could pretend…

  • Reply byrnewithme 7th December 2018 at 5:22 pm

    I also have a friend who writes real letters and it’s the best feeling when it arrives. Also the best feeling writing back, putting it in the envelope, walking to the post box, like a little ritual. I have a desk that is meant to be my writing desk (and is where I do my work-from-home work, which does involve writing), but blog posts always end up written on the couch. I try at my desk but it’s usually when I’m sitting on the couch that the posts really come out, and at the times that I least expect too. I don’t know why, but like you say, sometimes you just gotta write where you’re at & go with the flow, the best posts can come out that way!

  • Reply englishwithkirsty 7th December 2018 at 5:33 pm

    As a child it never bothered me much when the power went out. I didn’t even need candles as someone with a visual impairment I could get around the house and do anything that didn’t rely on electricity as well as any other day. I think it would bother me much more now though seeing as we’re all so much more dependent on our laptops and phones. Glad you made the most of the day though!

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