Tuesday, 5 April 2011

thinking and waiting and writing

So, for as long as I can remember I have written. When I was young I would write illustrated folder paper 'books' about animals, starting with dogs and evolving to horses, both wild and tame. One of my favourite books when I was young was The Silver Brumby by Elyne Mitchell, about wild Australian horses and their efforts to avoid being captured and tamed. Once I had devoured these tales I proceeded to fanatically regurgitate them, changing names and altering landscapes in my childlike attempt to write original prose. Later I wrote a book about a girl who had a pony and went to shows. This was based on the Jill series by Ruby Ferguson, and I'm fairly sure that the only unique aspect of my own production was the karisma colour pencil illustrations throughout. Though I'm sure I traced the cover image from my Dorling Kindersley horse breeds book as I remember it being fantastically accurate.
I moved on from here and wrote more I'm sure, stupid stories of what I wished would happen in my life which, if they were collaborated here now, would surely reveal the typical journey of child to teenager in terms of experiences. Pets, adventures, discos, boys. I expect my back catalogue was fantastically sterotypical.

Nevertheless, I still write. As I grew up I would keep a journal. Not a 'Dear Diary..." this is who I like at school and tomorrow I'm going to the park to hang type journal - such was my teenage self that this would have proved too cringe worthy to look back over - but a scrawled, non-dated mishmash of events and thoughts. I remember being at school once and saying to my former friend - now eneverated arch enemy - that I always looked through my drawers and possessions and found stuff and felt nostalgic but like I was watching Mrs Doubtfire on an agonising loop. I couldn't beleive that my former self was so silly and cringey. If I re-read anything I'd written I would shudder internally and very rarely stop myself from trashing the entire document. Hence there being little left for me to read now. However, I have kept these journals. There are three of them. I remember I picked them out on purpose for liking the earthy, worn feeling of them. Except the middle one which I didn't like but wrote in anyway, to use it. I think I was trying to protray my internal situation in every molecule of these journals, so the medium was effected just as much as the writing. Anyway, the interesting thing is that I re-read these and I don't shudder or cringe and I have never felt a want to destroy them. Ok there are bits that are typically teenage, but there is a lot of honesty in there that only I can decipher because I was living it. There is a lot of pain and dislocation that still remains today, and the way that I write it is often admirable. It manages to protray it in a way which isn't affected or confessional. I tried to start these journals again, inspired in the way I was inspired by other people's novels when young, but I couldn't. I've grown too much and my life lacks the drama - real or imagined - which could fill the pages up. There's something about that time of your life in which you manage to be both a ridiculous mess or a person, half evolved into adulthood and half venerating childhood, trying to claw it all back. It's so informative that the prose that emerged was so pure, untainted and accurate. The observations of everyday events take on new life, their simple actions being described with such delicate accuracy and the meaning behind them looming large. I find it very hard to do this now.

Now I don't know if I can write. A fellow blogger's first entry told me that she found it hard to return to her teenage self's ability to lay everything down on paper. That she wrote poems and prose and felt it good rather than awkward and put on. I can't tell whether this is because our teenage selves have a selfish confidence in their own feelings and convictions that drive this expulsion of thought onto paper. Or perhaps it's just that our adult brains are so mature that they can think out these problems and emotional difficulties, rendering it meaningless to attempt later to put it down on paper. I'm not sure, all I do know now is that I want to write but I doubt myself. I have the words, and I surely have the practice. My carreer is based on writing, and being eloquent and verbal and protraying something in so accurate a way that the reader assumes the viewpoint for themselves. That is the crux of historical argument and the key aim of my writing. Perhaps this is irreconcilable with personal writing? I keep this blog, but often feel as though I can't find the topic. Once I have the idea of what I'm writing it takes very little time to get going, and I find myself an hour later with what I see as an evocative text full of ideas and vivid imageries of my own view of my life.

I want to write a novel. I really do feel as though I have it in my. I feel it most when I am reading a novel and I think to myself, I could do this, and I could do it so much better. Call this big headed or mislead but from past experience I tend to have a fairly accurate prior knowledge of what I can and can't achieve. So, this is why I am going to start to write. I wanted to put it in here so I can't forget it and just pretend that it never happened. The theme is of people seamlessley changing between late teenage and adulthood, of losing identity and gaining new identity. It is based on a sentiment I find true to my own identity and which reflects something I deal with on my blog and in life in general. I hope that it is good enough, and won't come out sounding trite. If it does, you shall be the first to know. I have no illusions of granduer. I think not of publication and editing and book shop shelves. All I think of is my old self in her room, writing in faded red and brown journals with an inky pen, managing to sound eloquent in the face of all that is not unique.

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