Struggling and swimming with type

20 Sep

I’ve begun bashing away, pile of books on one side, ashtray on the other. It happens exclusively on the couch as, in a fact that will disturb my core Interior Designer readership, I don’t have any adult-sized table and chairs in the apartment. Naturally, this means I can pretty much kiss the adorable ‘revenge couch’ goodbye when I finish the book as it will have been ground down all the way to China. Or Buenos Aires. Whichever. This leather couch and I will survive passing the magma and suddenly appear in someone’s home on the other side of the planet angrily demanding carbs and bitching about the earth core’s lack of wifi access.

Writing in my spare moments is surprising and throwing some issues that I either didn’t expect or considered so cliched I thought they would only happen to proper writers (thus bypassing me entirely. Just like physical co-ordination and the ability to wear colour.)

As I sat down to type, the words that tumbled from my fingers are completely different to what I had planned. People come poking through the monitor I don’t expect. I’ve started sampling people, doing character studies and letting whatever dominates my mind fall out. Now, as I read, I tear apart the pages to study the mechanics. I am devouring.

I’m already struggling with voice. It’s mine but not entirely. It’s quite sober, a lower pitch to the normally bipolar chuckle-laden lilt – imagine a thick german accent dubbed over a mad Welsh dribble. It’s a little bit faux-Yeats, a bit turn of the century. I’m sticking with the words as they fall out, trying to respect the first draft in a daft homage to Kerouac and not editing them away. I want to bash away like the proverbial monkey and see what falls out.

I remember once back when I did some study on writing, I had an amazing teacher who led us bombastically through mythology and symbolism. It was one of the most transformative subjects I’ve ever had the joy to study. In his opening class on symbolism, he opined and lectured on what they were and how they were utilised during the writing process. Unable to stifle a question I’d dragged with me for years, I had to ask “are writers aware of what symbols they want to use from the first draft?” He threw down his papers on the desk in rage and bellowed “I WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE ASKED THAT QUESTION UNTIL THE THIRD LESSON!” After his theatrics (and no, there were no pre-arranged questions), he responded that it was rare but most writers were able to discern and work with symbols in their work by the 2nd or 3rd draft. So, I’m trying to let the text breathe, just lay out whatever is in my head as it splats onto the page.

As the writing takes shape, my need for art grows. I can feel the covetous growl growing in my belly. The walls are already fully and I need to frame some pieces but am torn between putting them up now or leaving them (and the expense) until I move overseas. But I need to bathe in art, in both its very gorgeousness, potential and acquisition. More on that, and other forms of inspiration, another time.

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