Writing in a temper – creativity versus rage!

Now, on the whole I’m a very even-tempered person. By all accounts my mates describe me as very laid back, often too much so. However, I am also a perfectionist who worries a lot and gets incredibly passionate and fired up about people and things who are important to me.

The one thing that gets my goat, is injustice. People being treated badly and situations which are completely unfair, really jar with me, as I’m sure they do with you. Now, trying to be diplomatic about things and biting your tongue gets you so far…but when you witness someone behaving badly and with total impunity, the urge to set things right can become overwhelming. So, what do you do when you absolutely HAVE to vent but know you can’t?

Well…I write, furiously and in a fury! Often frenzied, words spilling out and crashing about the place like truculent teenagers. BUT, apart from the cathartic release you get from venting on paper or on screen, does writing in a temper actually enhance or detract from your creativity?

Tricky question!

Certainly writing in a temper will inject your prose with passion and fire, and of course, while you are in that raging vein, you are not self-conscious (the killer of creativity!). But does the content of what you are writing become better with a proverbial axe to grind, or merely more ‘in your face’?

Re-reading passages of White Mountain that I knew I wrote in a rage, made me chuckle, as I remembered not only the cause of my anger but still took ENORMOUS pleasure in seeing the literary results! Bad, I know…but why not immortalise those who have irked you or caused you pain, into caricatures of themselves?

Poetry I find is particularly best when ‘written in rage’…it’s fresh, powerful and uninhibited…just how I like it! BUT, the flip side of course, is that you are incapable of reflection and introspection in moments like that. Any scene which requires subtlety and ‘stillness’ simply cannot be achieved if you’re in a personal lather.

So…my recommendation to all writers, particularly those that have action in their books…is don’t write a battle scene, fight, murder etc in a calm mood, wait until you’re juiced up on rage and injustice! But ensure your calmer literary scenes are written with peace of mind and a clear narrative of thought…time to breathe! 😀

When the writing flow is inter…upted!

Have been having somewhat of a creative flourish the last few days. Great for me, terrible for everyone else, as I’ve been wandering around in a daze, muttering to myself and not listening to anyone – just a lot of nodding, saying yes and monosyllabic grunting! Amazingly…I still have friends and family who put up with me.

Anyway, while I’ve been in my bubble. One fundamental truth hit me – that so much of what we attribute to writer’s block is caused by our having to go to the toilet! Our bladders are to blame for everything!

So I’m writing away furiously, often having to switch from the narrative to scribbling shorthand passages or key lines down so I don’t forget, before jumping back in. Inevitably, the lavatory beckons (don’t worry folks, no details here, it’s not that kind of blog!). So, you put it off and put it off, until you absolutely cannot go on. You are naturally reluctant because you are ‘in the zone’. The magic is flowing and so are the words, just tumbling onto the page in a frenetic even frenzied way.

You return, try to focus, to recapture that ‘thing’, that magic…but can you? No. You can force it of course, write a load of rubbish you only have to go back and delete later. You try again and again to get back to where you were, when your fingers couldn’t write quick enough and you stumbled over passages in your haste to get to the next scene. But no. The scene has stopped in your head. Your writing is now self-conscious, your word choices too deliberate.

The magic has gone.

Arghhhhh! Damn you bladder!

19 pages this morning, on a real roll and then…the toliet reared its ugly head! Oh dear! 😦

Lynda La Plante questionnaire, part II

Here is the second part of the questionnaire that I sent to Lynda La Plante as a kid. It is truly remarkable just how honest her answers are, and speaks volumes about the kind of person and author she is.

A real insight into the mind and working processes of one of the most acclaimed and successful authors of our generation.

An inspiration to me and many others. Thank you Lynda. xx