Why do I write?

Or wish I was writing, as the case may be.

In the past it was always because my brain was non stop observing, narrating, creating, imagining.  When I was a kid I was constantly baffling my mum by walking around the yard talking to myself and gesturing wildly. I was telling stories, playing out my role in imagined versions of my life. Aliens landed, international trips were made, big city lives were lived. It never changed when I grew up, just became internal for the sake of, well, not being seen as crazy.

The last few years I have utterly struggled to write, and I think¬†I know¬†why. Being a busy and functioning adult requires more of my brain space than ever before. For a long time I blamed not having enough time, and being unwell. Both of those factors¬†were true problems, but now they are improving and yet my writing hasn’t picked up.

In trying to solve my writers block I have thought more about why I wrote to begin with, and those imaginings as I paced around the back yard were it. I wrote to get the thoughts on paper, in a place they made sense. I need to let my mind wander again, to places that don’t make sense, in ways that waste time. The stories will come if I let go of the grown up thoughts and problems, empty my head, and talk to myself for a while.

Bring on crazy town!

Poetry

I know very little about poetry. I dabbled with rhyme when I was very young, and again in my teen years when angsty and sad, but I wouldn’t have a clue about poetic form. I’ve never studied it.

A while ago my cousin sold me a couple of books he used for uni, including this one:

The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms by Mark Strand, Eavan Boland

The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms by Mark Strand, Eavan Boland

And in the last few days I have started reading it.

Here I am in the car during a recent short trip to Coffs Harbour. My boyfriend loves surfing and I can barely swim. So while he surfed, I read in the car.

Don't read and drive kids!

Don’t read and drive kids!

I did manage to try stand up paddle boarding though which I loved. 

I even managed to actually stand. Quite the achievement since I spent most of it on my bum scared :P

I even managed to actually stand. Quite the achievement since I spent most of it on my bum scared ūüėõ

So anyway, poetry. I’ve decided to make a little project of this book, trying every poetic form in it, across a certain theme which will be revealed soon. I also haven’t forgotten about my other project Everything He Knows About Writing¬†which I will be back to very shortly.

Writings are happening!

Platform 9 3/4

I am currently re-reading the Harry Potter series whilst rewatching the movies and immersing myself in Pottermore.

On the surface it is a pleasurable and inspirational experience. Just beneath the surface it is very emotional. As I am about to start the Order of the Phoenix, I am expecting the primary emotion of the coming week to be rage.

But in my heart?

The Harry Potter series, and the extra bits revealed on Pottermore, are deeply intimidating to a wannabe novelist. Harry Potter is on the pedestal of my readerly expectations. J.K. Rowling is an idol. And it scares the hell out of me thinking I will have to come up with a passable plot when I cannot fathom coming up with the fictional universe I am currently immersed in.

I don’t expect that all writers should come up with such intricate plots of course, so it would be silly to expect myself to. But it is, nevertheless, intimidating.

Through it all, however, one sweet quote from J.K. Rowling regarding Platform 9  3/4 spurs me on considerably:

“There is a real trolley stuck halfway out of a wall at King’s Cross now, and it makes me beam proudly every time I pass…”

I love this. It’s not about fame. Fame is a byproduct. It is about readers developing a real passion for the work. People are¬†so passionate about the Harry Potter series that relics are being installed in the very city the book visits, by the government (or government contractors) no less! I just find that¬†kind of passion in readers¬†beautiful and stirring. However few readers I may one day gain, I aspire to stir similar passions…..even if Sydney is never quite so¬†enamoured¬†as to erect monuments for me.

To solidify this inspiration, I have installed a new picture above my desk:

20130904_195836[1]

Good news!

I am battling exhaustion, medical problems, doctors appointments, a day job, a boyfriend about to work over time for a month and….well…that’s about all so I really shouldn’t complain, it¬†could be worse. But nevertheless, I am quite proud of myself!

Through all that noise I have managed to secure a regular feature in a new zine in my town, called Newcastle Mirage. It is low scale and brand new, so in some ways I feel like it was almost too easy to get on board. But it has passionate people behind it and has potential to be fantastic. I could¬†not be more excited about it….it’s a start toward more writing work!

I also really love the kind of content the zine has and my piece will be about a topic I am very passionate about which is a huge bonus. I would love to one day run a website about the subject, so this zine work will be a great start and the beginnings of a great amount of knowledge procurement…yay!

All will be revealed in a couple of weeks time so stay tuned! ūüôā

Fear

My novel is going to explore some big ideas.

It is about purpose. Whether our lives have purpose, whether one persons individual existence has purpose, whether purpose is fixed, can be altered, or is entirely invented.

Yet on the surface, the story will be about teenagers coming of age, with a very strong element of science fiction that may work wonderfully, or may be over the top for what I need it to achieve.

And then there is the political stuff that found its way in there, that I just wasn’t expecting.

And of course there are the big plot holes that I have no idea how to fill.

It’s any wonder I haven’t written it yet. It’s terrifying! How do I do this story justice? I know there is an incredible story in there but how can I, a total amateur, ever hope to get it right?

It’s hard enough deciding if it will be one book or three. Written well it would be three. Which means it will probably be one. Ha!

Does this sound redundantly negative?

It’s meant to. I have to face this insecurity and move forward in spite of it. I have to convince myself I can do something remarkable. That I myself am more remarkable than I realise.

You’re a wizard Dani.