Thanks to British author Simon Bestwick for asking me to be part of his Lowdown series of artist conversations on his web site.
Since my ego construct occupies my mental headspace most of the time (ah, in dreaming, then it can go all askew), I can become bored with my own musings.
I ponder and analyse my approach to the world constantly, so I’m often reluctant to elaborate upon it with others. This is no doubt partly an Irish thing of not wishing to appear too big-headed (Who does she think she is?).
Also, I’m quite allergic to articles that contain writer’s advice. My skin itches like it will break out in hives whenever I see a clickbait headline like, ‘Top Ten Things You Must Do To Be a Better Writer’.
It’s probably because I read too many of those in the past, and for a long period it counted against me figuring out my own approach.
I got too stuck on ‘How I should be writing,’ rather than ‘Hey, this is working, why not trust your instincts…? Wait, why are are you turning away…? it doesn’t have to be so difficult you know!’
Thankfully, wisdom comes with time, and often after a lot of pain.
Writing fiction and non-fiction does function to help me attempt to understand the world – mostly, it’s a puzzling place.
Imagining it differently (‘Tell all the truth but tell it slant’ as Emily Dickenson advised) can sometimes allow me to peer through the matrices of nuance and perceive a glimmer of elusive truth.
And so as a creator you pull the strings and push the levers, in the hopes that you can somehow replicate this intangible mote.
Often it seems like you kill it in the process.
Very occasionally, you sidle up to it sideways and catch it – and yourself – unaware. Then, you might have something to show others.
How do you do it? Differently every time.
And who wants to hear that?
(But learning to take flying leaps into unusual spaces does tend to help… some bruising will occur.)