The crazy world of writing – intellectual poo, Kipling and daemons

Those among you who aspire to be writers know what it’s like. There are highs and there are lows as confidence builds and is then undermined by the slightest suggestion that you aint got what it takes. Crap!
Then there is the addiction to coffee; mandatory unless you can afford and/or prefer something more expensive.
There are also the odd hours that are seemingly the result of Dame Inspiration’s haphazard schedule. Who knows when she will decide to pay a call?
Rudyard Kipling referred several times to his daemon and advised that our personal daemons should never be refused admission. Whether they turn up with a cold six pack or not. Instead, Rudy reckoned that when the daemon takes charge we should just try not to think consciously but drift, wait and obey. Today we might say ‘just go with the flow’.
Soooo! What to write about is probably the least of your concerns. Or is it?
Recently, we were taught that everything we see, read and touch becomes a sort of mental compost or psychological poo, that when mulched with ideas and watered with coffee (to take but one possible example), organically transforms itself into a type of rich soil(metaphor in the building folks) that can be profitably dug for writing material. No shit! (sorry) But it does sound reasonable; even when you take time to think about it.
The thing is this:
I accept that we all have the opportunity to derive much from our respective life experiences that can be of use in our writing. Good, bad or otherwise. The words feel and observe are keys in the writing process.
My own work consists of attempts to blend elements from different genres to produce something new. Fortunately, there are aspects of the sci-fi, mystery, fantasy and thriller genres that seem to mesh easily.
At least they do for me.
Many established writers have said that first of all, you should write for yourself i.e. what pleases you. I agree with that. After all, if you don’t like what you write, who else will? It’s not rocket science is it? (About time we got a better saying)
Kipling also said that a man can never have too much red wine, too many books or too much ammunition.
I’ll pass on the ammo but the rest of it works for me.
By the way feel free to read the word ‘man’ as ‘person’. We’ll have no overt sexism in this blog.
At this stage of my career, I see myself as standing on the edge of a precipice.
I have 42,000 words worth of novel written (not edited) plus about 12 short stories and a few pieces of flash fiction. Some of my stuff has made it into student publications. But, all of it, like the family silver, needs polishing.
Thing is I can spend forever quoting figures and talking about works in progress or minor triumphs.
The capital P word PUBLISHING must be confronted.
Only then will we be able to determine the measure of my success.
In other words I have to jump headlong into the game and publish something.
Not when I am ready, because I may never actually feel ready.
I have to jump when my daemon says so.
One last word from Kipling on the subject:
‘I am by calling, a dealer in words, and words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind’.
There is passion in those words and a writer without passion aint no writer at all.
The world of writing is a crazy place but I love it.
By the way, when I jump, I wont be wearing a shute.
That would spoil all the fun.

2 thoughts on “The crazy world of writing – intellectual poo, Kipling and daemons

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