I have spent the last three or four days – I lose track of the time – writing but none of it for here as I am doing what I promised I would do two years ago and starting my writing course in earnest. However knowing what to write is a challenge I have to work through and one I have definitely never faced before.
I love English and writing and consider myself to be fairly well-read and literate but somehow in the face of a broad and open writing assignment I have to do in my own time, with no restraints on topic or focus, I suddenly find myself without a thing to say.
I consider the use of language on paper to be the greatest expression a person can give and perhaps that’s because it is my forte in this field. If a picture paints a thousand words then mine would sigh ‘oh dear!’ repeatedly, musically I can produce a squeaky rendition of 3 blind mice on the recorder and as for the stage, I can regularly be found hiding behind the nearest settee should the opportunity of acting come about. This could suggest that writing is therefore my only option but though this is the case I also hold an affinity with writing that I do with no other source of outpouring.
The sentences you can write, the words you can twist and the tangles you can weave with the power of language – especially the English language – is something that brings me joy every time I hear it or have the opportunity to use it. I used to write poetry that would twist round in ever decreasing circles, skirting the point and not quite touching on the heart of the matter until the end of the verse when it would become apparent the words had been circling the point like a vulture round a wounded animal; too easy to dive right in for the kill, better to wait and watch to see how events unfold. They would never have been great works of art but now when I re-read them I can see through the layers of description and flirtation with the subject exactly how I was feeling at the time, which meant the most to me and which I wrote because I thought I should. The years between an anguished teenage mind – a warped sense of priority and importance – and the adult I’m trying to be today simply melt away within a few lines as the words on the pages describe in infinite detail the very memories I was trying to capture. That is something a picture or tune could never manage.
I don’t underestimate the power of these things either having felt the power music has to contain a memory. I am a great lover of music and believe there is a song for every occasion, the control music can have over the subconscious to bring thoughts and feeling roiling to the surface, even those you would have considered buried deep or almost forgotten. The dip and swell of a powerful song has the power to sweep away a bad temper or reduce you to tears in the course of a chorus and leave you feeling drained and used by the end, this I do not deny and is the very reason I usually have music playing whenever I’m writing [Ed Sheeran today – what an amazingly talented bloke, buy +, it is a rollercoaster of an emotive, softly spoken album]. However this is not something I am capable of creating myself.
The skill is in creating a landscape of information and intrigue no matter the medium used. When a creation sucks an outsider into the centre of your piece because you’re able to not only plot the course of your own experience but also project the feeling emotions, colours of the moment and taste of the atmosphere, the piece takes on a life of its own. A self-sustaining energy that grows with every viewing/hearing/telling. No matter what any artist of any style says, the epitome of a successful piece is one that speaks beyond the ears of its architect.
Why else would the hidden diary, stuffed beneath the mattress of the bed evolve into the publicly viewed, rated and open to comment blog of the 21st Century if not to be accepted by others. Unfortunately it seems that the idea of art for art’s sake has died out with the ability to socialise without leaving the confines of your computer. But then perhaps this has always been the case and those proclaiming their art has been created for their own sake and no-one else’s are in fact those that would love to be accepted into the fold by ‘the audience’ but fear of rejection keeps them two paces back.
And so it turns out I am not without subject matter or the words to express just simply without structure and the twisted roads of illustration cannot be mapped, only travelled. Even if the destination is somewhat alternative to the expected.
Let’s face it; it’s all just asphalt. It’s how you tread it that matters.