We chose it. We want it. We can’t be doing without it. We wake up in the night or early in the morning with ideas spinning. We pace like tigers when kept from it by normal life. We do it.
And on days when all our stars are in alignment, when the keys to our subconscious have been turned, our fingers fly on the keyboard or our pencil scratchings make a frantic rhythm on paper, when we are surprised by ourselves, by the marvel of the humanity we write about, it is a wonderful, a joyful thing.
There’s so much talk now of being published, of rejections, submissions, of word count, of writer’s block and muses doing a runner, of not being able to find the space, the place, the time, the rhyme, the reason, it being the wrong season.
I wrote lately on my blog for Writing.ie about finding the book that YOU want to write, about finding the things that fire you up, that you gather and adore, that make you hot under the collar, of finding the hot coil in the furnace of the way YOU see the world and brandishing it, making your marks on the page, your brand (not the marketing one!) on the skin of our culture.
Write for the joy of it, for yourself firstly, then for a reader, someone intimate your book will sit close with later, you will tell them the way you see the world, humanity and they may sit head bent close to yours, to your book and understand or see something new or different they had never thought of before. Or you may reflect something back to them that is dear and intrinsic and spark of the joy of recognition in them.
Whether it’s Marc Nash‘s feats of erudition and word love, or Penny Goring’s unparalleled linguistic gymnastics, or the sparkling characterizations and life in a moment of Tania Hershman, Claire King, Martha Williams, A.J Ashworth, or the lovingly crafted slices of humanity of Rebecca Emin, Jane Rusbridge, DJ Young or the startlingly slightly surreal and fabulous creations of Rachel Carter, Kirsty Logan and Elizabeth Baines; these writers demonstrate to me through their work, and by presenting it to us in such a marvellous manner, the intrinsic joy of language, of creativity, of humanity and the world itself.
Like you all I get fed up of it. Sometimes writing is like the holy grail. To get to it at all, I need to negotiate the jungle of domestic life, climb mountains of tiredness and self-defeat. But I want to remember the moments when a idea flashes, when a juxtaposition of words seems just right, (like when I came up with the title Origami Flamingos for one of my flashes!) when a story makes sense, the accumulated moments later when it lives and lingers and means something to others. I don’t know what else to say. We must stop sometimes and try to remember the spark, why we cannot walk away.