Writing Under Pressure

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Full Member
Sep 25, 2014
Alan Garner, author of The Owl Service, Red Shift etc wrote that he found he could not do both writing and teaching; the energies were too similar.

I find this with moving between professional divination activities, fiction writing and working on a non-fiction book.

It comes from the same place. The Well of Wyrd within all of us. But I need to keep them separate, except in blogging, which is a meeting ground.

I know writers who work as roofers or in cafes, all sorts. They are buying their freedom this way, though sometimes they see it as a trap, and wish they could only write 9 hours a day, every day. But this stuff happens under pressure. They would not write 9 hours a day, every day, even if they could.

Nor would it yield what they hope for. Coal and diamonds are made under pressure.

I don't like all his writing. But the vision is unmistakable. Alan Garner quit teaching and took various labouring work instead to keep that space clear, free and under pressure.

"As I turned toward writing, which is partially intellectual in its function, but is primarily intuitive and emotional in its execution, I turned towards that which was numinous and emotional in me, and that was the legend of King Arthur Asleep Under the Hill. It stood for all that I'd had to give up in order to understand what I'd had to give up. And so my first two books, which are very poor on characterization because I was somehow numbed in that area, are very strong on imagery and landscape, because the landscape I had inherited along with the legend."
Alan Garner, 1989

Dead Rat. Own artwork. Because there are always days like this. If only it was alive, it might enjoy the apples.

Interesting piece of artwork. I think for me, running things drains on a different level. Hosting NaNo, or putting on an event, it's not that it comes from the same place, but I can't write just the same.

I'm intrigued by the ferry boat or cruise ship in the background. Still more of the feeling of party all around the rat, life going on, but the rat too out of it to share!
Could this be why sentences are often so short? Fragments. Man. Shop. Knife. "Gimme the cash!" Little old lady. Not on my watch! Handbag. Swing. Bam! Six o'clock news. Citizen's commendation. Life ain't so bad. Now, a bit of telly and then to bed.
Lawd, yes, I know, and grammar always wants us to fix the fragments.

Too many are annoying, like bouncing over cobbles...
Then again, if we write how we think, or how we really talk, there will have to be fragments, or it will read like something out of the 19th century.

Dialogue,, or interior monologue for the fragment, possibly the sweet spot, do we reckon?
the sweet spot
The sweet spot will be different for every POV character, probably every story. I like to use the principles of method acting applied to writing the character -- I am that person as I make words for them in the story, so the way they speak, think, experience, respond, react, push, etc. are all their own actions/reactions. I am the medium, not the maker, and they will be and do as they will or need.
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