Saturday, December 8, 2012

Musing about these musings

What is it that prompts these musings that I present each day. I must own up to a secret. I usually have a few pieces sitting ready for posting at any one time, just in case I have no time to write anything, or if, for some reason, nothing occurs to me on any particular day. Because, let’s be honest, I am not that creative or inspired. Some days go by without any sense of having been brushed by the Muse, in order to create one of these musings. (What is this Muse up to at the moment, having me muse about my musings?)

It is often something I read, or hear or see on the TV that triggers the motion: a series of thoughts that perhaps lead somewhere, perhaps not. Indeed, much of my writing proceeds in this way. I rarely have a “plan”, even when I start a novel. There may be one or two seeds, a few ideas. Most of these will have vanished before the process is complete. If I get stuck, I will often just continue to write: anything, whatever happens to be on my mind at the time. And sometimes, if I am lucky, something begins to emerge. It’s a little like planting seeds in a garden, when you have no idea what plants they are from. Some fall in good soil, some on stony ground. What is going to grow there? Some seeds grow, some don’t; some smother others. Some have to be uprooted, some transplanted; some pruned, some fed with fertiliser. From this emerges some kind of garden. It bears very little resemblance to anything I might have imagined at the outset.

I think this processes kind of works (if it does – you be the judge) because life itself is rather like that. Do we have plans? Some of us, some of the time. And if we have no sense of where we are going? Do something. Put one foot ahead of the other. Move. Move or die. When we look back, after ten years, at what has grown, does it resemble at all the plan with which we began? Probably not. At least not in my case. So I hope that my books and stories resemble life in this way. I, as the author, often really do not know what is coming next. So I am as surprised and pleased or hurt as I hope you, the reader will be.

This musing has followed exactly the process that I have described above. This ending was not anticipated by the sentence that began it all.

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