I’m sitting up here while a concoction of tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, spinach and quinoa bubbles away downstairs in the kitchen. The smell of garlic, paprika and herbs de Provence rises steadily, reminding me of my tendency to mix and match things even in my culinary experiments as well as my literary ones. I’m going out a bit later for my beekeeping course and we need to eat early as we need to be at the Bee Centre at seven tonight.
I realised something rather profound today. Well, profound for me at any rate. When I sat down to write Seminar yesterday I set out to simply record what had happened, to get it down in black and white so I could look at it objectively and get over it. It didn’t happen. As I said somewhere in the comments, I got as far as the giggling of goblins and then the piece took a life of its own and took me with it. It was a great ride, too!
I certainly don’t claim it as great literature, but I will claim it as healing literature for me. I let something happen; I relinquished control and let a different side of me work. The side of me that is lighter hearted, mischevious and slightly childish needed to appear to save the very adult me from swallowing myself up in wails of “It’s not fair!” and my inevitable retreat into my default setting of mildly suicidal depression. I found I could laugh at the situation and take it a lot less seriously than I had before. I could see things for what they were. Oh, I believe in faeries and goblins and all that stuff, by the way but the ones we have to fear the most are the ones who have become semi-human, like the ones in Seminar. You can’t spot them for what they are unless you are trained to see it.
It’s also reminded me that I have a gift with words. I’d got a bit lost about that, really. I’d forgotten that I could write, just like that, at the drop of the proverbial hat and LET IT JUST COME. You see, the chief goblin had stolen my gift for a while. She made me believe, subconsciously at any rate, that to write you have to plan and edit and agonise and nit-pick and fiddle endlessly to be a writer.
Bollocks! To be a writer, you just need to write. To be a singer, you sing, to be a dancer, you dance. To fly, the bird opens her wings and takes off. She doesn’t spend hours studying aero-dynamics and so on; she just flies.
To be a good writer, you have to write a lot. You serve an apprenticeship where you write rubbish, but you learn your trade and if you’re lucky you might get a mentor. But to simply be a writer, good, bad, brilliant or indifferent, the only thing you need to do is to write.
Writing a daft story about goblins healed something in me. I hope that healing extended a little to my readers too