Angry Wild Legends

Writing, authoring, publishing, literary stuff of all kinds – plus anything else!

Why Write?

We write because we need to, whether that need be a requirement of our work, a necessity to communicate (perhaps to the bank concerning that little oversight viz. the overdraught last month!), or maybe because we recognise that we are not a complete person until we’ve quenched the burning desire to express ourselves to the world. OK, maybe the world will only ever be our immediate family and close friends, but it’s still the world, you know!

I think that’s why I write. I think that’s why I wrote my first novel. I think there is a creative spark within me that has been fizzling away since childhood, and it’s only now, when my life-experiences have reached such a point that I can draw on them, only now when I feel my literary talents have become sufficiently honed by all the letters to the bank-manager, only now when the ambience of my life in general is resonating placidly in the background, that I am able to pen to paper, or finger to key.

Placidly? Well, oddly yes. I started to write my first book around three years ago, when I was comfortably employed, well paid, and moving through separation to divorce. The quality of what I wrote then was not very good, I have to say. The early draughts of the first few chapters were pretty poor. I knew what I wanted to say all right, but there was so much of it that it came out in disjointed, hasty paragraphs of nonsensical verbiage (if you’ve read the final chapter versions on you may well say: and this is better? Believe me, it is!)

But I queried the word ‘placidly’ above, and with good reason. A few months after beginning my writing, and when the book was about a quarter done, I was made redundant, and for 15 months I had no work to go to. That’s changed now, as it happens, and I’m now in full-time employ again, but during that enforced idle-time I found my whole world was a different place. I had no money coming in – redundancy pay? Don’t make me laugh! Six weeks doesn’t last 15 months, I can tell you. I wasn’t able to pay the agreed maintenance for my kids, and as my standard of living dropped so did theirs. Nothing I could do about it of course. I applied for job after job but nothing came up. Furthest I traveled looking for work was 200 miles, but it didn’t seem to make any difference.

Fortunately I had a new partner. Funny woman. (What woman isn’t?) But she had a great quality in that she seemed to believe I could succeed at my writing, and gave me all the encouragement in the world, spending hours and hours reading and re-reading my efforts. Spolling isn’t my strong point, and sometimes my head ran away with ideas while the keypad lagged behind, and she always managed to drag me back on target. Not that I was always grateful, mind. After all, whose damn book was it anyway? Hah!

I should point out at this stage that we are to be married next year, so don’t let criticism from loved ones throw you!

Anyway, the point is that for all the unemployment, lack of money, worry, and so on and so on, I finished the book (yes dear, I know I couldn’t have done it without you). So where was the ‘placidity’? There comes a time in life when you finally begin to realise that there is only one place in the entire world where you can be at peace, and that is in your own head. Once you get to that position where you can finally say, ok, so everything outsides pretty poor, but if I can just get back to the book and plough into it and lose myself there then what goes on outside doesn’t actually matter for the moment. Well (pause for breath) it’s true. I vouchsafe it to be so (good word, huh? Vouchsafe? Wonder what it actually means…)

So tranquility in, through, and despite adversity, y’see. For me the salvation was my future missus, but it may be something different for you. The point is, you gotta find the placid place, the spot where outside doesn’t matter too much. I promise it’s out there for you, somewhere, and when you’re old enough – you’ll find it!


March 24, 2007 - Posted by | Words

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