… In a World already choc-full of Authors, why bother adding my own Words?
Well, I was reading Jessie Burton’s ‘The Muse’ earlier this week and stumbled across a passage there where one of the characters just had to paint. Even if she never shared those paintings with anybody else, she described it as a process which brought her closer to a perfect world – the one which exists inside her head.
I’m kind of the same with words, useless with paint!
Except I really wouldn’t describe the place inside my head as perfect, it’s more like a tumble dryer of thoughts at the best of times, perhaps why I have started to *try* to meditate for 15 minutes a day to clear out the internal chatter. Hell, who am I kidding, if I remember to do that once a week, it’s a miracle…
I write because I need to write. I write for therapy. I write to laugh. I write to create something as yet unseen, the mishmash of strangers, the psychology of people and the impact their ripples (good and bad) will leave on each other’s lives. I write about the places I have been and want to go, the sights, sounds and smells. And definitely the tastes, particularly of the sugarcoated variety.
And I’ve been that way ever since I was a little girl; writing about the daft and the silly (complete with very amateur illustrations), the magical and improbable… and food, always food! Even in my English classes at school, when the tedium of churning out yet another observation about Othello, or Romeo and Juliet got too much, I’d be the one instigating fun (until we got caught) games of paper consequences with my friends, when we’d surreptitiously pass folded concertinas of paper around the table to one another, clutching at our stomachs in a bid to quell those piggy chortles in danger of spilling out.
Then on into ‘adulthood’, where I fear, like Peter Pan, I never really grew up, even in my former workplaces, I not only reveled in forming essay-style emails to prove my point about a customer’s ‘right’, getting director’s backs up (yep, usually the males) because I hadn’t adhered to the bullet pointed facts as instructed. But I would also, usually simultaneously, be re-hashing song lyrics (usually Prince ones), with one of my besties on the other side of the world… so that now The Purple One was crooning about one of our ex-teachers, or someone totally annoying from school. Childish, yes. Hilarious, OMG, I can’t tell you how many rainy afternoons it brightened up, and how much more productive work-wise I was afterwards. Along with an M&S chocolate chip cookie dipped in my tea, of course.
But cake. That’s a whole other subject. Needless to say, if you are thinking of writing anything, you have my wholehearted permission to do it with cake.
They say we all ‘have a book in us’. Lord knows, since becoming an author (a word which still feels so weird when I think of myself as one), everyone is telling me they either have a book in them just waiting to be unearthed, or their mum/son/best friend/neighbour/cat does. And I think that really is true. Whilst every story and variation thereof has already been written, as we learn when we attend a writing course… and then feel like screwing our ‘masterpiece’ into several hundred balls, tossing them over our shoulder, reaching for a large G&T, and pursuing a sensible career/hobby; nobody interprets life, people, possibilities the way we do.
Nobody else has the unique perspective I have. Nobody else could have written my debut novel, ‘Oh! What a Pavlova’.
In the very same way, nobody else can put pen to paper and carve out something beautiful/informative/shit scary/magical the way you can. Well, certain ‘celebs’ and their totally overlooked ghostwriters aside…
So write, my friends. Write because why in the hell not? But write for you, always. Not for an audience, never for money. Write because it makes you come alive, write because it’s one of the many things you can do where the ticking hands of the clock are a forgotten concept; so much so that when you next look up, it’s lunchtime and time for that cookie.
And if none of the above applies to you, then frankly, don’t write. There is something else out there that’s going to float your boat.
Above all, always write with cake. That’s a must.