Thursday, 15 November 2012
I was invited to be interviewed about being a writer (to be publicized soon) and was asked a number of questions, one of them about what inspires/motivates me to write, and when I got into it, I realized I'd gone on a bit and my answer to that one question, in its entirety, couldn't possibly be used owing to it's length - 1454 words, and so I'm depositing it here instead to add to my other posts about my writing journey - and perhaps as an appendix, should anyone reading the actual interview be a glutton for punishment - and also because I've been very busy lately, and haven't done a post in a while. Enjoy.
First and foremost I write for myself, and I’m being quite serious when I say I quantum leap into the (fabricated) worlds I create when I do.
But easy to do when you know how; understand our planet’s indentation upon the fabric of space and therefore the gravitational pull of the various dimensions ensnared by it that enables a creative mind to traverse with a hop, skip and a… well… quantum leap… into the elementary; the ability to connect everything in the universe between A and B let alone all the way to Z making for interesting inventions indeed. How could they not be told?
“Is this guy for real?”
I’m afraid so, but only in the literal sense, otherwise I’m largely considered a weirdo anomaly, so much so that when I enter a room I cause it to become lopsided. But I like to think of myself as a wonderful eccentric, even though I’m not; better than my artistic sensibility becoming mistranslated. But that’s what a black hole where the unknown dwells in infinite state will do for a writer such as me; one who strives to try and be unique; shock a little here and there; simply futile to even try and resist the gravitational pull because somewhere therein, for such a person as I, lies home, and everyone needs a place to relax? Right?
Please keep up. In other words, the need to express the gift of an unusual imagination in storytelling is inherent; affords an escapism that can’t, at least for me, be found on our four-dimensional plane. Such a mind is so fully integrated in alternate existence that the impossible is the only place where a lone-wolf might feel they belong – and wolves can do that these days, can’t they; space travel? Or at least, werewolves do - even though I’ve never seen any of those particular creatures when I’m flying around up there - but an irresistible pastime; writing; the den of the universe calling me to mine its abyss of ingenuity, where, what hopefully emerges on paper upon my return, is new life, new worlds and a story that no man has written before. Enterprising indeed. Yes, I like to think of myself as Ashtar, spreading stardust wherever I go.
Oh… nobody; just some alien from the 50s, I'm sorry if you expected Picard.
But trekking through the stars and cheap metaphors about a popular TV franchise and an entity that people channel on New Years Eve aside, I’m an introvert, a true lone wolf, a little bit strange, and writing allows my soul to bare its teeth fully in a way that’s just not acceptable in person – but then that might be my propensity for dressing up as Mediaeval French royalty, I don’t know. But as a fairly complex person, apparently, I couldn’t possibly go into the ins and outs of who I am fully here, but I did write a very heartfelt piece about what makes me me, entitled ‘Precipice of an Alternate Plane’, a few months ago, that attempts to explain away the strangeness of me as well as anything ever could I guess; inspired to write something from my heart by the late Nora Ephron’s piece on death, which really touched me in that how honest it was. But it’s a piece, if you were to look closely enough, that might explain just how I, and no doubt, many other inspired anomalies, see the world differently from most; literally not taken in by it, not feeling embraced, possessing a kind of x-ray vision, allowing us to see it being played out very differently, insisting on keeping us at arm’s length despite our best efforts of, as the song goes, putting the right one in in the first place, followed by an awkward left leg; everything, seemingly basic at every turn, with alternate essence, simply begging to be reinvented by the art of storytelling.
“Oh… I see…,”said the blind man.
No you don't. But anyhoo, we simply can’t help it; and even though it can often be to our detriment; becoming even more ostracised; obsessed to the point where we allow it to affect our health and listen to its insistence that we forego other perhaps more financially promising careers, an artist does what an artist does because it’s truly a calling – unlike the cameo character, Sister Betty in Prickly Scots, who, for the want of anything else to do, only became a nun after her husband left her penniless and nowhere else to go, but still she manages to find a way to buy cigarettes, crafty bitch.
But there’s an honesty that we can get away with in fiction that’s perhaps by-the-wayside in real life; society, and very much so in art, inclined to be automaton, and so recreating it somewhat satiates my need for humour, which even my more literary works are filled with, and a perfect way to not get into trouble with my ‘say it as is’, ‘no nonsense’ attitude that I’ve needed to learn to curtail somewhat. The small hope is that, should they become successful enough, they might influence others into thinking along new lines. In writing, people tend to find rudeness amusing, a tad outrageous, admirable even, and that's great, I think that we should laugh at ourselves more; our current climate far too politically correct sometimes.
In fact, total honesty is a prerequisite for every aspect of my life, sometimes to my detriment; a tad obsessive compulsive about it, I know; intolerant of anything that doesn’t ring true, even in fiction, for I cannot read, and certainly not write that if I can’t see it being played out authentically in my mind’s eye despite the fabricated nature of it.
I think my approach affords my characters an interesting angle though, regardless of whether they’re aliens or monsters, a nasty old lady or a precocious child, whatever, nothing and nobody as perfect as a lot of writers seem to want to make their worlds and their protagonists because, in general, that’s how its always been. And so I feel, with my sometimes completely annoying ability for omniscience, ‘seeing’ people the way I do, that this translates into believable eccentrics that the reader can, on some level, identify with better while still maintaining a degree of awe for fictional characters, and it also affords abundant opportunity for me to develop them in a way perhaps readers might secretly relate to outside of our largely sugar-coated world.
“Did he just digress to the point where I have no idea what he’s talking about anymore?” Probably, I do that; makes you read pieces like this more than once; get over it. ”But most people might just say they write because they love to, for fuc… I mean… Heaven’s sake.”
Yes well, I’m not most people; please pay attention… and there’s absolutely no need for expletives or blasphemy… thank you very much.
But I guess my point is, I see inspiration everywhere, and I mean absolutely everywhere; cursed, it feels like sometimes, but it all builds up into what I call ‘FBI’ profiles for my characters/stories, and so I hope that those who dip their toes into the extra-terrestrial tides of the oceans I swim, that it will ultimately entertain them too.
Yeah, you heard, get over it; I’m a writer; I’m allowed to get like, all fancy… and shit.
Hardly mainstream though, and I won’t compromise, but that’s another matter; whether people like my writing or not, is, quite frankly, largely irrelevant to me; and even though I’d really like them to, again first and foremost I do write for me, myself and I. It is always a pleasure though, when I see readers gain some unexpected delight from my unusual style, and I really appreciate that. Discerning types, obviously.
I believe writers are therapists, psychologists and comedians, gatekeepers to Escapasia, inventors (obviously, ‘cos I just made that last word up lest you couldn’t tell) books, simply portals to other dimensions where anything is possible. They’re educators, motivators and inspirers. Who knows what a good story teller arouses in others, what dreams they elicit, the wings of imagination that they set in flight.
“Okay, puke... enough already; I get it.”
Yeah… I agree.
But what really motivated me in the first instance, was the worlds I became lost in in my childhood; reading every Enid Blyton book I could lay my hands on; a writer that transported me into her exciting worlds in the same way, I guess, that JK did for a whole new generation. And despite writing first and foremost because I love to do it, I would also love to think that someone, somewhere, got the same experience as that from something I’ve written.
“Aww… I actually understood that bit.“