…On Writing

Writing for me is a drive, deep inside…an idea new to me to explore, unrestricted by genre…I write however I feel the idea needs to be given life, and that’s actually the same for all my art and creative projects…the idea inside me is listened to and given the birth and life it’s asking for…I know when it’s not the perfect method because the creation is difficult, but like anything a little patience, a pause, a thought and an adaptation and its how it should be…I coexist with my creative ideas, my creative mind, it is like a separate entity and we peacefully together, for the most part but occasional frustration develop. An idea is like a plant with sun and water being the time and opportunity, which without the idea screams in frustration and eventually dies. Less ideas due now because I carry either a notebook or postits, or both ALL the time, it’s as habitual as remembering keys, wallet or phone…they are a need not an optional extra.i feel lost if i don’t that’ve something to write on and with. The idea needs to grow…
…I favour writing because of its practical ease, it’s easier to bring to life because I just need a pen or a pencil and some paper where as with art work to fully realise the vision I may need paint or pastels, clay or montage material, the process takes longer to create. I have a very visual mind, I see scenes from a variety of angles and I can picture the scenes and ideas in my head, it’s almost, in fact it is a cinematic perspective yet I have this writing preference. I recognise that this is a paradox but I feel it is a positive trait of my writing, I see in three-dimensions and I try and write in three-dimensions, I try to paint this three-dimensional world with words and that’s a challenge I love. I ultimately want the reader to be in my mind and see the story or scene as I see it. That desire is reflected in the fact that my writing projects always have a multimedia aspect to them. It’s a fully immersive experience for me as a writer which I try to include the reader in. By multimedia I mean that as well as the prose there are elements of music – as a soundtrack – and there are also elements of artwork, ‘fragments’, documentaries, graphics, technology, posters, poems and scripts. It’s a complete package.

The frustration at the amount of time and opportunity I have to get the frustration out I found that ‘fragments were the easiest, just simple ideas and thoughts explored and expanded upon through many, or few post-its. It epitomises my use of writing as a way of understanding and making sense of an ever-changing, simple yet complex world, which then feeds into my story, blog and poetry writing. Because as well as self-expression that is what writing is to me, it’s a way of making sense…

These ‘fragments’ just helped to relieve the pressure and got me into the habit of just writing short pieces whenever I could. That ‘fragment’ process fed into my story and poetry writing, and made it easier to write in those genres, or at least develop writing ideas in those genres. I love creating stories and worlds. Just from writing this I’ve remembered that as a child I loved maps and creating maps of my worlds. I fell in love with the mystery and sense of exploration that comes from looking at a map. So I’ve just realised that having this drive, this passion for writing and writing stories in particular is s natural extension of that. However, stories need total submersion and living in a rushed world, a world where free time is a luxury full of guilt, having the time and opportunity to achieve that submersion is difficult. This leads to developing a tremendous sense of guilt at leaving my characters tapping their feet in the situations I have written for them, having not completed their stories…at the moment I have at least ten characters who are waiting for their lives to continue or for them to get out of a perilous situation. That’s the problem with creating new worlds and also thinking in a three-dimensional way, these characters are alive and breathing, with their own traits and issues and existences, they are full-formed creations in my mind. I’m trying to feel less guilty about pausing them. But the fragments have aided my story-writing in other ways too, by exploring ideas through fragments and post-its.

Finally there is the poetry. I have written poetry for the longest time, I began in about 1995 and somewhere there is a book of early poems…probably best left somewhere. My poetry writing was unleashed by ‘Dead Poet’s Society’ and in particular the scene where Ethan Hawke’s character improvises a poem having struggled to stick to rhyming and traditional poetic structures. That moment was a light bulb moment for me, it made poetry accessible because I could write poems how I wanted and about what I wanted, and that is liberating. I later applied that to my art too. For someone creative, like myself, it is empowering to know that ultimately with any means of self-expression there are no rules. The self-expression is the key element to my writing. Through characters I have the same opportunities as actors do in being able to explore types of personalities and play out scenarios, gaining mastery like the early play theories in child development. I’m also able to share my opinions and dreams about the world, a way of holding up a mirror to reflect society. My voice is a small one in the world, but my thoughts and opinions scream loudly in my head, and so writing gives me that louder voice to be heard, and gives me a unique opportunity to share my personality. It goes back to that ‘write what you know’ idea, if you know oppression then you write about oppression, if you are frustrated then you write about frustration, but also as a writer you imagine and empathise that’s the other beauty in it. As a writer you get to imagine what other people’s situations are like from your own point of view, and that’s a creative skill and a life skill in itself. Writing being a voice is nothing new though it’s been used by every person who has ever had something published, but for me it’s been empowering to be able to tap into that and also be part of that writing tradition. I feel privileged because it’s not something everyone has the confidence to do or has the opportunity to do.

The self-expression has at times acted as therapy and again I am lucky to have that as a strategy for life. Time and again writing has helped me to work through issues from my past, has helped me to understand whats happened, or happening, not from an outward world view but from an introspective perspective. By making my inner issues concrete in text I’ve been able to analyse myself and have joined the dots and come to conclusions about the reasons for those issues. The therapeutic side of writing has been a great benefit to me, and also sharing those things with the added hope of helping others. Using writing in this way has been aided beyond my expectations by having a supportive partner, someone who believes in my writing, someone who will make suggestions but will just be encouraging, someone who recognises the importance writing has to me, recognises its a need not a want, and allows me to pursue it. Previously I’ve had not had support, I’ve been criticised and prevented from writing or I’ve been made to feel guilty about spending time writing, or even wanting to spend time writing, my need to write was suppressed until it exploded in a burst of creativity which was unwelcomed but entirely necessary for my spirit and my soul, entirely necessary for my life.

Fundamentally there is no true replacement for experience, a writer can do their research through interviews and in the libraries but it’s no true substitute for experience so write about what you know, and if you observe and experience the world and take more opportunities then you will have more to write about.

Creativity, and writing in particular, for me is exploration, self-expression and therapy, it’s a release and a mastery tool, it’s a drive and a passion, it’s a living entity which needs satisfying.


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