Friday, February 24, 2012
When words become enemies...
Then maybe you'll get an inkling of how it feels when a writer falls out with words in a permanent way. Those of you who know me know I am a quieter Minx because I have a brain injury. I want to blog more, to read your blogs and chat on Twitter, to catch up on your news on Facebook...but words just don't play nice anymore! Three years on from the accident I'm more likely to laugh at my mistakes than get frustrated - I recently told someone to flash a shop assistant (I meant to say 'flutter your lashes'), asked a friend to fetch a screwdriver from the car (I meant coat) and the lovely Sally Minx is nicknamed Salty Minx after I misnamed her in a Skype chat.
So it's become less of a deal - those around me know to question when I say something odd. The gap between my brain thinking and my body carrying out it's intention doesn't usually matter too much.
Until I come to write that is.
Words that were my friends when I was growing up, my nose buried in one book or another, now misbehave, float away out of reach or reassemble themselves jumbled up on the page. Reading can feel like running through treacle and a short email take ages to write, and check, and check again...
But recently I've discovered that the creative process, by which I mean that urge, the drive that takes over and apparently gives our characters lives of their own, is on a different wavelength to the conscious cognitive cogs grinding slowly away.
On holiday last week a creative well, an explosion of character actions and reactions, dialogue and narrative all came tumbling out, seemingly bypassing conscious thought. I had to write by hand so some of what I wrote is illegible or jumbled but the story on the whole is there.
I've experienced 'the well' before my injury and I'm sure a lot of you know what I'm talking about, that tumbling of words so fast you can hardly keep up with yourself? What makes me happy is the discovery that my creative instinct is intact. After being forced to read so many depressing medical reports (including one which stated that I would "never write a novel now") I think fear of the difficulty and bewilderment about words no longer feeling under my control has held me back.
Writing on holiday helped me remember how much I love it, how it satisfies me in a way nothing else can and that I have to write regardless of who may or may not have given up on me.
I will find a way to make it work, to call a truce...
And most importantly I know my fellow Minxes will help me catch the weird stuff before it gets to the desk of an editor!
Posted by Lorraine at 2/24/2012 08:00:00 AM