A couple of people have recently asked me about how the writing is coming along. Slowly, I reply.
Having just rounded off my first six months without work, I notice the possibility of more writing time comes with unexpected strings. With days being shorter, the house empty, and our winter rains on cue if find myself pulled outwardly to escape the insidious stillness and tick-tocking of the hallway clock. Writing is like preparing a special meal. If there is no one around to enjoy it, why bother.
Of course, this is how depression deals with us.
The truth is that fiction is Life written in one’s own blood. To be meaningful it must also embrace the inevitable suffering that visits all of us throughout a lifetime. The artist must necessarily accept their loneliness as they would colour on a pallet. Only through stillness can the voice of one’s own suffering be grasped and brought into the atmosphere of the art form.
And so it is with me. I walk several miles a day in the company of my unfathomable self, auditioning the ‘hired guns’ who shall speak to life’s mysterious side as characters in the book. Good advice says fasten attention to the creative space, and protect it at any cost. What I’m learning is that freedom has its price. Too much of it and one becomes untethered by the many possibilities surrounding them. One must still find other nourishments, and it does not always follow that spending hours of solitude focusing on the pages of a book is the best possibility!