Wednesday 12 June 2024

The Elephant and me

Imagining a photo which was worthy of a moment you could read about in Eat, Pray Love, I looked at the elephant. His trunk was strong. One swoop in the wrong direction and I would be in the mud, legs akimbo. Still, I held out the food I had made for him. He took it from my hand with the end of his trunk, carefully winding the little end around the ball of nutrition I had skilfully made. 

I could make food, easily. 

Kiss an elephant on its trunk, I couldn’t do. Anxiety took over and I was slightly upset. 


The writer in me had imagined this special moment. I imagined it would be a significant part of the book if a book was to be written.


Boarding the huge jet at Heathrow, I didn’t know if I had a new novel in me or not. I had decided to let it flow. If it did, great. If not, I had experienced seeing the other side of the world: a win, either way.


As it was, my anxious thoughts about the power of an elephant have driven the idea in my head to believe there may well be a book. Returning from Asia, I sat with my journal in the coffee shop, for the first time in three weeks, and I wrote some kind of plot. It unravelled like magic, as it so often does. I had attached no importance to this story. That was the fairy dust. 

Words flowed, and I began to see an unravelling of a few important points coming to the surface of my river of sentences. There was a story coming.

What would people want to hear? Something about life? Emotional connections, deep thinking and wonder at the world is what may have flowed when in reality, some space to look out at sea and just ‘be’ was all it took to find the next part of the writer journey. 


The book has started to become like a good recipe. I have accidentally stumbled upon productivity videos on YouTube that have excited me to break the year down into quarters, and set deadlines. Get it done, Lou! 


Adding in sprinkles of this 

and a cup of that, 

along with just flowing, 

and I think we have a new book. 


This one feels as though it would be a fresh energy, introducing me as a writer. I have stifled the inner me for so long, and the friends who read my musings have rolled their eyes at my resistance. Money, time, mum, kids, health, and a myriad of excuses have stopped me from writing, but now, it’s time. If not now, when?


The story has surprised me. And it will surprise people younger than me. Still figuring it out in your 50s? How is that possible?

Yes, friends, life is happening to all of us. But it’s time now. Tomorrow, a blank page, a new title and some words coming together. 


It is beyond words to try and express how excited I feel to be writing the next book. My health will love me for it as my spirit throws a silent party within. Finally, I am listening, after so much guidance. Let’s hope to make it a good one. 

© Louise Usher. All rights reserved.