I write because it’s my passion. No other reason. If I didn’t love writing I wouldn’t be able to sit down at my computer day in day out turning my imagination into words with no certainty, but only a hope, that other people might read and enjoy the stories I make.
The first draft of a story is always the most joyous. When it all comes pouring out of my imagination unconstrained and uncontrolled like water tumbling over a cliff edge and smashing on to the rocks below. That’s the fun part. The second and third drafts, the editing and the proof reading are not so much fun but they are a necessary part of the process. They are the craft of writing, the same way as a carpenter transforms a piece of wood into a finished product so the author takes raw prose and crafts it into the finished story.
There is no better reason to write or to pursue any creative endeavour other than the joy it gives you. The finished product, the song, the painting, the sculpture, the book, the quilt, is the by product of the creative process; the tangible result that you share with other people.
Writing is a lonely occupation. It has to be, silence and solitude are necessary for the imagination to flourish. I go for long walks when I’m forming a story or when I get stuck. Walking above all other forms of motion is a meditation that frees the mind. I don’t consciously think about writing when I’m wandering along. I’m simply encountering the woods, or the sea, or the mountain but miraculously when I come home and sit down at the keyboard the story is there.
When I’m not writing, I’m painting or sketching. When I’m not doing either of those I like to sit talking with friends over a drink or go out exploring new places on my bike or dance (badly but exuberantly).
Favourite Authors? Not really – I have read so many great books by so many authors that it would be impossible to pick favourites.
I’m sure that in order to be a writer it is also necessary to be an avid reader. I learnt to read early and I loved it. As a kid the arrival of my ‘book of the month’ from the club I belonged to was the day no-one heard a sound from me. I still love sitting down with a good old fashioned analogue book; putting my feet up and turning the pages one by one. It’s a much more immersive experience than reading on line.
I think we have all read books that struck an extra special chord with us. That made a deeper impression on us than the other stories we have read. These are the books that stick in the mind for years. They become an influence on the way we think about things.
I was six when I first read Wind in the Willows and I consumed it frequently between then and about eleven and it still gives me pleasure. I was a teenager when I absorbed the dystopian futures of 1984 and Brave New World. A student when I read Das Kapital and Spinoza’s Ethics
I need to include Silent Spring, Ecology as Politics, Songlines and As I walked Out One Midsummer Morning in the list. I think almost every book you read contributes something to the way you see the world but the ones I’ve listed are the ones that I remember with particular clarity.
Welcome and thanks for visiting my blog.
Alastair De Grandis. aka Vagrant