Wednesday, 15 June 2011

That Which Does Not Kill Us...

Writing - question: What Keeps You Going? As posted by Scott Myers over on his blog: Go Into The Story.

My comment:
Not thinking about the audience anymore. Bit of a risky thing to say really isn't it when all the advice points to 'knowing your market'. I'm not sure I ever had or want a market, the words come I write them down and move on.

Am I telling the truth or is it only relevant to the way I feel right now? Having spent years reading writing magazines, reference books, novels, blogs, screenplay advice, anything and everything - you name it, I've read it etc, I think perhaps I am.

Things have gone a bit pear shaped recently and instead of commenting on the Theatre of Life, life has taken me/us by the scruff of the neck and forced us to wake up and open our eyes to reality. There's nothing quite like a trip to the Cancer Assessment Unit for Children to focus one's attention on the important stuff and the people who really matter to you. Before I go any further, let me reassure you that the child in question is fine but for a few days we were not so confident this would be the case. It was enough of a scare to make us question our priorities.

Our children are healthy - I can say that now.
We have a roof over our heads which is more than some.
We both have jobs with regular salaries.
We will not starve.

I enjoy writing but don't depend on it for a living. I am not deluding myself on this subject because I know the extent I'm willing to go in pursuit of a writing career and it's not at the expense of anyone I love no matter how understanding of my passion they may be. Sometimes I work harder than others depending on the idea involved, mostly, the words come from my present mood and have nothing to do with premeditation. I don't pretend to know more than I do or to be more than I am. When people read and comment it makes me happy and when they don't I move onto the next thought without worrying whether I gaffed or not. Boxofficegirl is of my own making, I created her and one day I may even kill her - who knows? The point is... She, 'it' is all part of an illusion, a play if you will, a telephone connected to the Universe to springboard thoughts, dreams, ideas and aspirations. Not something I live for but live with as part and parcel of every day life, paying particular attention to that last word and the subject I am focused on here. Life.

The past few weeks have been horrible and I thought it couldn't get much worse than having to watch a parent slowly surrender to the horrors of Alzheimer's way before their time; but the last few days have proved me wrong. I saw enough of the children's Cancer ward to cling to my own child with grateful thanks for not having to go any further down that road. I met a mother in the ward kitchen who has not been so fortunate and we know of other families too who have an ongoing battle in this field.

Although I've have never felt more devastated as when faced with such awful possibilities, it's true to say I've never felt more alive either. The blood pumping through my veins, mind racing, every sense acutely alert and fully present in the here and now. Life is not something we need to scrabble around for, it's who we are and how we engage with each other and deal with the challenges thrown our way, most often without warning. I don't need another experience of this nature to remind me how fortunate we are to be here but I also recognise that there will be times when we'll forget, become lazy again in our approach to life only to remember due to another sharp lesson forged by the wrath of frustrated Gods.

I'm off now to do the school run, so bloody thankful that I still can and when she comes out of the school gates I'm going to listen to her chatter about her day, share in her jokes, hold her hand and treasure it all because one day these moments will all be memories and as our family already knows to their cost, even these can be spirited away.


  1. Well, Boxey, so few writers depend on income from their work to live on that any three year old knows enough numbers to count them. Most of us do it, write, because we have no idea how not to do it.

    But it's not life and death.

    Life and death are the real things.

  2. I keep going because of a need to know what happens at the end.

  3. It's all a bit too real for me Don, what we need now is a little peace and quiet. Living on permanent red alert these last few weeks has become exhausting. Normal would do, normal is good. Thanks as always for taking the time.

    That's a good enough reason to stay the course John, readers can't very well turn to the last page if it's not been written yet. Lovely to see you over here too, thanks.


Comments which are constructive and relevant are very welcome but unsolicited links and advertising will be removed and blocked.