Saturday, 29 November 2008

Tools of writing

Before you begin a novel, short story, essay, poem or whatever your forte is, you gather the tools to do so. Right? Of course, right...the first time. You might start with a blank piece of paper and a pen, or you might have an old typewriter that does it for you and you get the ribbon, the paper, etc, or it might be your old pc or a new laptop with the program that fits your could even be a dictaphone you hauled out of a drawer and put to use for the first time. It doesn't matter, there are certain tools you need to start. Right? Right...the first time. These are your motivators- look, I have it all ready, surely now I can write....

And time passes.

And you realise something more. Almost profound.

Tools have zero to do with it. You realise a piece of paper will do, any piece, any pc will do, any pen, any ribbon...because the words become more important than the tools. Agreed, the right tools make it so much easier and simpler, particularly in this modern electronic age when most agents and pusblishers prefer email submissions (thank heaven), but it is not the factor that drives creativity. What drives you is far beyond how you achieve your goal.

When all is right with your world of writing, your tools are dream prompts, a great photo, something someone said, a piece of music, a tear when your son or daughter said 'thanks mom', or simply the magic that goes on in your mind. You can be walking, driving, eating, sleeping, sitting, watching TV, reading, listening to music, talking, having a glass of wine...and if that tale or verse is trying to get out, it will erupt...and how you record it is beside the point.

My point is this: don't fret when you think your tools let you down. Allow your mind to be the tool, and everything else falls into place when the time is right. And don't fret about that timing either- trust yourself.

Writers write because we love it, because we exist for it, because it is a grand passion, because we are complete when we do so. Follow your heart and your instincts and believe in yourself, and don't ever give up once you discover your grand passion.

Writers, I salute you.