Friday, October 18, 2019

Back to writing

The dust has settled, the autumn is here, and it's time to get back to the main event - writing.  When I've just had a book published, as I have this summer, 

Cover photo by Valerie Dalling

I always say to my friends, 'Well I shan't be writing any more. What's the point?' and everyone laughs.

Dave is currently reading a book called Shoot for the Moon: How the Moon Landings Taught us the 8 Secrets of Success by the esteemed psychologist Richard Wiseman. Near the beginning of the book he gives nine long questions to ask yourself in order to identify your main passion in life. I asked myself the questions in a genuine spirit of wanting to know because I really wasn't sure. Guess what? The answer was writing.

I had a chat with an artist friend on Saturday night about having to do what we do - she to paint, draw and create, me to write - whether or not we get recognition or payment. That's the deal. 

So what happens now? I have had an idea for a book for some months now, and I've begun to make some notes and to gather material. I had in mind that this novel was going to be a fast paced comedy, but now I am not so sure. I'll have to wait and see what comes out.

I like this Charles Bukowski quote about writing:

"Somebody at one of these places [...] asked me: 'What do you do? How do you write, create?' You don't, I told them. You don't try. That's very important: not to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It's like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks you make a pet out of it."

and I like this poem of his as well:

so you want to be a writer

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.
if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.
don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.
when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.
there is no other way.

and there never was.

Photo by Valerie Dalling

No comments: