There are days when I wait for ideas to come and others when I simply listen to what’s in my head and let it come out onto the page. Is that right? is that the way to do it? Waiting? Listening? Drumming your fingers on the table, everything set out neat and pristine in front of you? I have absolutely no idea. But maybe that’s a good thing. I pick up my pen some days, laptop others and just get going, but even through this as I write in what ever medium comes to me, there is doubt. A sod of a thing, it grows roots inside, doubt, if you let it. It takes up home and is a proper pain to get shut of. You need weed killer for doubt, good strong stuff, industrial strength, because once it sets in, it’ll spread across everything, starving it of oxygen, wringing out the necks of every other living bloody thing that’s around it. Just cracking on – that’s a good doubt weed killer, as is exercise, reading (although, beware reading a book of the same genre you write in when you’re in the middle of a Project – this can send you either way).
So what is a real writer? God only knows. But, hang on a sec, here’s the thing – maybe that’s the point, you know, the fact that I don’t know. I mean, there is no one size fits all, is there, really when the chips are down (or your pens are). No pre determined prescription of the grandiose writer that’s scribbled out and thrust into your hand to take three times a day with water. If you can write, if you can pick up a pen or open a laptop and simply write, then you’re a writer. Simple. Can I do those things? Um, yup. Can you? Quite. So I guess that’s what we tell ourselves in those moments of doubt, that’s what should be our weed killer to it, the question: ‘Can I write?’ And then the answer will trip of our tongues, will waltz off our lips they were the prizewinners of a major competition, ‘I write therefore I am a writer.’
I write therefore, I am.