I came across this a couple of days ago…
It was written by my elder son, Joey. It was his first try at writing the alphabet.
Joey was four at the time. I was sitting nearby at the table, as he wrote it. And what I remember was the excitement that radiated from him as he worked at the task. It was a tricky but exhilarating journey, into a mysterious place he’d never been to before.
Remembering the mood it put him in, I’m left feeling that, when encouraging beginner writers, we should do everything possible to feed (and keep alive) the sense of excitement and adventure which comes from setting out on the journey into writing.
I may be a few years further down the line than Joey, but I’m still on that same writing journey myself.
And that sets me thinking us older writers, too, should do everything we can to keep alive the feeling of excitement and adventure…as (like Joey) we take our tricky routes into mysterious places we’ve never been to before.
American science-fiction author, Melissa Scott: “Writing isn’t generally a lucrative source of income; only a few, exceptional writers reach the income levels associated with the best-sellers. Rather, most of us write because we can make a modest living, or even supplement our day jobs, doing something about which we feel passionately. Even at the worst of times, when nothing goes right, when the prose is clumsy and the ideas feel stale, at least we’re doing something that we genuinely love. There’s no other reason to work this hard, except that love.”
American novelist, Judy Blume: “The only thing that works with writing is that you care so passionately about it yourself, that you make someone else care passionately about it.”
Russian and Soviet poet, Marina Tsvetayeva, “If I were taken beyond the ocean into paradise and forbidden to write, I would refuse the ocean and paradise.”
I came across this a few years ago. in the BBC’s Wildlife magazine. Some school-children in Scotland and a dead dolphin…
This comes from a book published in 1984, by the American author Paula Fox, called ‘The Servant’s Tale’:
“What’s the difference between a story and a lie?” I asked.
“A lie hides the truth, a story tries to find it,” Nana said, impatiently.
I strained to grasp her meaning.
“Don’t worry,” she said soothingly. “You’ll see it all some day.”
I understood enough to know that Nana saw what others couldn’t see: that, for her, the meaning of one thing could also be the meaning of a greater thing.