On being a writer.

19 Oct

So being a writer is a really bloody lonely existence. You spend hours, days, weeks just sat looking at a screen tap-tap-tapping away with your own thoughts and moods driving you crazy. You write down a bunch of stuff you imagined happened, and then wonder: did that happen?

And then you spend the rest of the time wondering if the thing that happened should’ve happened, and if indeed, something else should’ve happened that would fit in better with the other thing that happened, and then you wonder again: what happened?

Being a writer is a very fine balance between living in this world and living out of this world. Oftentimes the two can’t really meet up, because when they do it bursts the bubble of the world you were in – and that can have terrible consequences. I don’t know off-hand how terrible you think that can be – but, for example, you could be there writing an exotically, heart-pounding love scene and the plumber calls to tell you the what-ya-mathing in the boiler at so-and-so property is bust and what to do about it, and you answer as you do, and then when you return to the love-making on screen and in scene, the sizzle has sozzled and you find yourself all out of sorts.

And this is the other difficulty in being a writer, because the ability to write is so bloody fragile I often wonder how anything at all gets written. It takes absolutely even-less-than-you-would-ever-think-possible to break the writing spell. And I think it is a spell, because when the magic of writing comes upon you, you just pour out so many words and pages upon pages of stuff that you feel so alive and on fire it makes your brain sing. Like really sing; really, really sing so loudly and so expansively that sometimes you think you may just well explode with the happiness of it all.

And then the fucking phone buzzes. Or the doorbell rings. Or the neighbour starts his saxophone practice and you’re all out of kilter again and you’re trying to get your buzz on, but it’s buzzed off.

Being a writer is a very fraught and anxious existence interspersed with what I can only describe as the happiest and most in-tune-with-yourself moments you will ever experience. And when you’re in the flow, or if you’ve ever known the flow, you long to return. You long to tappity-tap as though your fingers may fall off or grow numb with such tapping excitement.

Being a writer involves a constant sense of yearning, a longingness to be what you hope to be, to find that place of ‘flow’ where the words trip over themselves and onto the page and reach out to a reader who will nod and say “Yes!”

Being a writer means you always long for a reader, for a reader to read the words you have written. And, I guess, it’s enormously selfish. Because not only do you want the reader to read, but you also want them to react; to read and react.

And so in being a writer and true to my selfish streak I’m going to ask you to react in the comments below, or else to read more of my stuff – you can preview my debut novel Eternal Forever for free on Amazon.


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