Friday, 26 April 2013

A Writer's Journey

A tree that can fill the span of a man's arms grows from a downy tip; a terrace nine stories high rises from hodfuls of earth; a journey of a thousand miles starts from beneath one's feet..

I read every day and write even if it's only a few words. I don't feel otherwise that the world is quite right. I tend to go where my imagination takes me whether it's walking the solitary writer's road or in a busy place watching people.

A final story or poem usually comes from several pieces of writing which I've woven together from different times and places. It's rare that I can write a poem which is fully formed at the outset, whereas non fiction seems to live easily in it's own space.

Writing about characters and plot I see in the mind's eye is fascinating. If I'm lucky enough then to be on holiday and can look out from a Greek taverna, or walk in the green tinged light of Venice, it becomes a completely different story because of the venue. 

I've tried to enter as many competitions as possible over the last few months and keep up a word count on the novel. If I manage to do one it's usually at the expense of the other. It's hard to get the balance right to satisfy logical thought, and my imagination insists on the casting vote if it's to cooperate.

The source of creative flow has never been clear. There's a mystique to it, but I suspect that favourite poets such as Yeats couldn't have captured the right words without living their own individual experience:

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.  

Do places influence your stories and poems more than people, or is it a combination of both? How does the creative magic work for you?