Writing can be a joyous thing. It can become the purpose of your life. You can settle down into a routine in which words bounce from your fingertips, joyous paragraphs and whole stories emerge. So beautiful and fulfilling these can be and feel that it’s almost a shame anybody else needs to see them. But you yearn to share what you’ve done with your very fingers, like a child. Look mum! Look reader, look what I can do with words!
I used to associate writing with freedom. Couldn’t wait to write, to create a world and characters all of my own. I didn’t even know or care whether it was any good. All my ideas and passions would come out in my writing. Everything that I’d read would be there. I’d ape all my favourite authors. And I’d only reveal what I’d written at the very end.
Mental anguish can come about through writing. Squeezing words out. Words for words’ sake. Anything to fill up the white space and lessen the guilt, for a writer without a page, or a thousand, full of words is not much of a writer. Don’t talk about it, do it. Stop theorising, get it down. I have received much advice, taken on board some, laughed off some.
Writing can also be a job, of course, and most jobs have elements of writing involved, a report, a bit of copy, a letter, an e-mail. Business, unfortunately, tends to take away magic and replace it with profit. So, these days, when I write for myself, I try to put myself in the mindset of the naïve child that I once was, happy to be typing, smiling. I try to challenge myself
by breaking form
or finding the absurd
blazing in the day to day.