Friday, April 10, 2015

Riding The Wave

10th April 2015

I am often waxing lyrical on this blog about the tortures of the writing life. The creative life does have its elements of pain, there can be no denying. But then so does the farmer's and the clerk's and the teacher's. And the point is, we choose our reactions to a large extent. We are the authors of our joy as well as our sorrow.  And the writing life is certainly not all pain, not all frustration.  When we are doing what we do best, this life of creativity is full of bliss. As creative people, we gravitate towards bliss.  Its the flame to the circling moth, and we can't help but fly in its orbit.

My own particular writing path has been circuitous and demanded patience of a person to whom this does not come easily. But the writing path is not always long. Let's not forget those who rocketed out of their dark corner - the JK Rowlings, the Diana Gabaldons, the Stephen Kings - the authors who are sitting around their private pools sipping Margueritas, and not, it might be noted in the examples I gave, for any great literary merit. They just got caught up on a wave and happened to be the writer on the crest that gave voice to the upswell.

They are all Beatles of their particular art. "A good little band," says Sir Paul McCartney. The best little band in history, say the rest of us. A few scribblings in a notebook, says JK Rowling. The restorer of magic to a dry dust age, says everyone else.
Paul Harding who won the Pulitzer for Tinkers caught a rocket of his own. A small book (full of literary merit this time) published by a shoe string outfit housed in a former loony bin, with minimal distribution, went into outer orbit and won this country's most prestigious prize.
So the writing life is not without its rockets, fireworks and explosions. We hang onto the prospect of taking off - literarily and literally. Sometimes the search for our bliss gets rewarded in a big way. It's not why we walk this path, but it would be nice, that feeling of riding the wave. It's what some part of us is after, and we, and mostly I, shouldn't complain when we get a little uncomfortable along the way.

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