I have a strange relationship with writing. I write (blog) for a living, and for a long time that meant I was no longer inspired to write creatively, for myself, after hours. That’s when photography became my preferred creative outlet.
But I am in many ways a writer, whether I am actively writing or not – I think as a writer, I come from a family of writers, I see the world in stories and I love nothing more than to eavesdrop and people watch and make up my own stories about what I see and hear.
Sometimes the urge to write comes out in poetry. (some of my poems and photos are here)I write poetry either when I am really miserable, or incredibly happy. In either of these emotional extremes anything and everything can inspire a poem. Once, the site of a semidetached house led to me rushing into my office to throw the words and images my mind had conjured up on to the screen as quickly as possible before I forgot them.
This blog has been a great outlet for my personal writings over the past few months. I have once again found pleasure in figuring out my own stuff by journaling whatever is in my head on any given day.
But this weekend for the first time in a long time I actually sat down and wrote a story. In fact, I wrote it (or the first draft in any event) all on Sunday, in 3 bursts – mid morning, later afternoon, and just before bedtime.
When I sat down to start writing I had no idea at all about what or who I would be writing; all I had was the theme (it’s for this competition) and I simply sat down and started typing.
It is *always* a magical process for me, writing. When I look at what I have written – whether it’s a factual article, poem or story – I usually have no idea what happened between the first and last words. It’s as if I vanish and someone else takes over and writes the thing for me. It’s awesome!
Sometimes it can be a little disturbing too, like with this story. Themes of abuse and murder came out of nowhere (I’ve never been abused or murdered anyone! Or wished to!!) – sure I can see some of my own story in there with an aged parent losing his memory – but other than that, it’s pure fiction.
Now I get to the next stage, one I also love in a different way – cutting the thing up to make it flow, leaving out sections even if I love some of them, crafting the lump of words into a well-paced read.
The competition aspect is immaterial – apart from a dinky laptop I’m not too fussed about the prizes though being published as a winner would of course be great – but it’s given me a deadline (I adore deadlines for creative work) a theme and a word count.
And I’m loving the process!