Wednesday 21 December 2011

Writing again

Happy Christmas!
Do you ever take yourself by surprise? I did yesterday evening when I had the need to write a story. It was a short story and was for adults not children so couldn't be further from what I normally do. There had been an idea simmering in the back of my mind for years all relating to a little black dress but nothing had come of it. Then some recent snippets of conversations and people watching that had been logged away meant that  the story suddenly presented itself. The little black dress is in it but not the main character I always thought it would be. It was something that had to be written. I had no choice. 

People, who are not writers, always think you are mad when you say things like that but all writers understand that sometimes a 'craziness' does take hold when you just have to write and nothing will stop you. A story or a poem just needs to find its way out of your mind and onto the page. A lot of this story kept coming to me during the night luckily for the moment my laptop is still on my bed so I could keep writing. It is not quite fully formed but it is getting there.

As you may know I recently wrote a post on getting the words flowing and I seem to have found another way as what writing this short story did do for me was to release the block that I have had on other projects. One in particular whose main character I have been very worried about as potentially she could be risky but then I was reading a book recommended by a very good friend and I read this:

You can only take the risk and know two things: 1) that you are doing it for the right reasons (not for the sensation, the gimmicks, or the chance to preach or show off) and 2) that you have brought every bit of your talent, literary skill and energy to bear upon the task.

 Thank you Alison Macleod for writing this in Vanessa Gebbie's edited collection entitled Short Circuit. This wonderful collection may also have been a trigger for the need to write a short story along with the Alice Munro's New Selected Stories I am reading. Nothing ever happens for no reason even if it does take you by surprise. Combine these two incidents and I find myself writing freely again.

I realised I know this character really well. I can take a risk with her because I trust her. I need to focus on writing the story and not worry about anything else. 

Guess what I will be doing this Christmas between the marking and planning that is!

There is very definitely hope in my heart as we head towards 2012. So many plans and ideas.  I may be a grandmother and on crutches but there will definitely be no time to be a 'little old lady' no matter what anyone suggests  LOL ;-)

Just love this (you may have to watch it via YouTube)


  1. It really does feel like a risk, doesn't it, putting those words on the page? You are allowing yourself to make real that which only existed in your imagination - and by necessity, this will be permeated with the essence of you. It's a scary thing, a self revelation. But you can't help yourself. You just have to write it. And in a weird way, I love that feeling! Your post reminded me of Nina Killham's post on writing being an acto of disclosure thank you ... and may the words be with you!

  2. Oh ... and that toothless grin really made my day! thank you and my warmest good wishes this season!

  3. Thank you Candy for pointing me in the direction of Nina Killham's post. It is brilliant.

    The toothless grin is a pretty gorgeous one isn't it. Christmas is going to be good!

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful time and I hope 2012 brings you all lots of happiness