Friday, 4 July 2008

Courage - and getting on with it

Before the pen reached the notebook's waiting page, an incessant voice was already in full flow. Oblivious that it had been to talking to itself for days on end, locked in the dry darkness of a thin and tall airless cupboard, ranting without regard for sentences, it didn't encourage conversation or an interplay of ideas. It spat a ruthless assault, a barrage, a deluge. It was a voice on the rampage with no regard about when to hold it's tongue. 

"What about your non existent plot, what about your lack of research, what about creating interesting characters, what about originality and your message, what about challenging your readers, what about the illustrations and creating a truly authentic atmosphere and a sense of place, what about pace and space and the joy of words, what about leading readers on a journey, what about humour or drama, who is your ideal reader anyway, what will the format be, whose voice will be addressing the reader, what about rhythm and rhyme and sequence and technique, what about your lack of words today, your reluctance yesterday and the day before, what about your redundant project book waiting for all your fascinatingly good intentions, what about your pen's lonely silence, your inability to put any coherent thoughts together, what is it that makes you think you have anything to say, what about......?"

A dark intense stare swung around 180 degrees like the turning of a thick page in an old deckle edged book. Silence was caught in it's crippling glare. A search beam had found it's frozen prey. In a long moment shimmering with the raging adrenalin expectation of a fight, a strong and clear voice suddenly turned up it's own volume and shouted - "SHUT UP and just let me get on with it."

This piece was written in response to the fact that I have recently scared myself silly with the prospect of actually getting on and writing one of my new projects. The lovely first bubbles of excitement soon turned into a bit of fear because I spent too much time trying to be sensible and organized and planning things out and THINKING!! This then seemed to extend an open invitation to the critical voice that I have mostly learnt to ignore the rest of the time. By the way, it didn't actually say half of these things, just enough to stop me in my tracks.