Saturday, June 04, 2005


The beautiful thing about writing is that you don’t need anything. In order to write, all you need is to write.

The writer continuously needs to say everything twice, to repeat himself, but say it differently the second time. This means he needs to have two phrases for everything he wishes to say, which is a pain, but it at least doubles the chance that he’ll be understood.

Writing, like most things, is an escape. Momentarily engaged with putting mind to pen to paper the writer loses touch with those torments which bedevil his ordinary existence, his doubts, worries, fears, pains and, for a brief moment of forgetfulness – of lost attention – he becomes as he is.

Of course worries and concerns are not imaginary and will therefore reinstitute themselves in due course, if they can. The writer gains relief from them, a moment to breathe fresh air, a reminder that the most pressing of problems has its limits, although he is not able to transcend them.

At least writing fills his time, gives him at least the illusion of a purpose. Aha, he looks up from the page – a few more minutes have been spent fitfully. Despite the fact that even the finest fruit will wither and rot, it is still considered better to be fruitful than to be barren. Fruit, of course, never outlives a tree – only the stone, the hard unyielding nut, has that chance. But just like a tree can be strangled by weeds, so can a writer choke on his own over-grown metaphor and resign to start afresh.