Do not be precious about it. One of the
wonderful things about writing is you need so little
equipment. Most of it is packed away inside you. In fact it
is a continuous dialogue between what is inside and what is
outside. But be aware of this. The words that arrive in your
head will soon disappear as if they have never existed in
that particular order before – and will not come again. This
is one certainty you can hold onto.
So pick up a pen, borrow a biro from the
waitress and a napkin too if you have no handy Moleskine
notebook. Famously Jack Kerouac is said to have written
On the Road on toilet rolls, but I think that is an
example of the mythology that grows after you have died and
is of no concern to the writer. Besides, you must make a
copy….and as far as I know toilet rolls have never come with
carbon between the sheets…and Kerouac predates digital.
If you want to write, just do it. And…don’t
ask for how long…for as long as it takes…until you run out
of steam or the house burns down or your youngest begs for a
crust of bread. Notice I am leaving husbands and wives and
partners out of this. Deal with him or her as you feel
fit…just know those who say they love you can be your
staunchest allies…off you go darl… I’ll clean the floor and
the windows and let me know when you’re ready for a cuppa!
can be your nemesis.
What I do know is once you announce your intention to
write…things in the household get shuffled around into new
Incidentally, don’t ask the most
numbing question of all – what is this about?
Write and you will discover… You are setting out
on a journey, each word a step along the way and
while you are wording many wondrous things will
happen…but nothing more wondrous than what you
will discover about yourself.
And…don’t try to write well, not
in the first draft, because you will squash your
voice. More about that elusive creature, the
writer’s voice, later.