Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What I know about writing

I'm linking up with some clever writerly friends today at thatspaceinbetween and chatting about writing.  Do click on some of the links  coz these girls can write (and I bet they spell "coz" properly too).

I'd love to say that I've been writing forever, but apart from always *eye roll* having to go to the principal with my story book again *another eye roll*, and my first published work to the Dear Auntie Dot children's pages on the Otago Daily Times, I've just been a sometimes writer.
But I've always had conversations about life and stuff in my head.  Always.  I just never thought about writing it down.
And when I started working in banking after my uni years, the parts of my jobs I loved most were the writing parts.  I'd say "I'm a words person, not a numbers one", which ironically in banking isn't the most astute thing to say.  I'd write massive strategy documents, I'd segment customer bases, and maybe somewhere in the archives of each of the banks I worked for, there is a faded paper with a smiley picture of a "customer" I found on clipart with a "Hi I'm Brad and I'm a lifestyle choices customer.  I love to windsurf and write poems and I want accounts that make my money grow...". God I loved that stuff.  Seriously, I still get a little excited by it now. It was the start of my writing career.

Arriving in a new country and meeting within months, a handful of amazing and talented women who were in the writing industry screamed serendipity to me.  They nudged, they encouraged and they inspired me.  And I started writing.

Writing for me is all about getting the voices out of my head and in front of others.  I feel joyous when I string a sentence that comes together just so.  I strive for that BOOM feeling when I write, that funny feeling in my tummy when I know it's good.  And that last line, when it comes, is like a slam dunk. BAM.

I write about feelings, about heart tuggy stuff, about serious stuff, I sit at the screen and it just comes.  If it doesn't come, I move away from the screen.

I feel that a little bit of me is being immortalised gently and slowly. And that it's coming out of my head  in a meaningful way.

I love the movie Billy Elliot and I particularly love this line...

Tutor 1: What does it feel like when you're dancing?
Billy: Don't know. Sorta feels good. Sorta stiff and that, but once I get going... then I like, forget everything. And... sorta disappear. Sorta disappear. Like I feel a change in my whole body. And I've got this fire in my body. I'm just there. Flyin like a bird. Like electricity. Yeah, like electricity.

That's what writing feels like for electricity.

What makes you feel like electricity?


  1. Oh I had to laugh at the "I'm a words person not a numbers one" line when you were working in a bank. Funny!

    Adore the Billy Elliot quote. So true. You have certainly found your current. xx

    (*cough* see what I did there? *cough*)

  2. it's even funnier to that I used to say that words not numbers line often and publicly at work. Savvy!

  3. Running make me feel like electricity, writing makes me feel calm. I need them both. Writing though gets the words out of my head, and that's much better than keeping them crammed in there.

  4. Oh I get that Naomi, although sometimes running makes me feel neutral like I'm in a kind of transcendental state where I just plod and think and go all relaxed. It's my calm, thoughtful place , maybe because I'm so slow? - could be!

  5. I am PMSL at your line to the bank. Love this Lise :)

  6. Validation I think. Ive been re-writing the same chapter of my thesis for months now and finally this week I got the email that said 'this is really really good'. The really really is why I try hard x

  7. That's what I liked about working in debt collection - less numbers, more words.

    Of course, the biggest issue was the note-taking process. We had to mangle and abuse the English language to the point of unrecognisable to be able to fit in all of those words.

    Even something as simple as "Today I spoke with an unknown male third-party and he advised me that the debtor has gone on leave for the next few weeks. He will, however, pass on a message with all of our contact details, upon the debtors return" was mangled into:RDTR: SW MTP ADV DTR ON AL. RET: 2/3w. LMTCB.

    1. yep, nope, you've lost me, that looks almost like numbers to me, not enough vowels. I would have so screwed up if I'd been doing that job, and no doubt would have ordered a hit on someone for not paying their last $15 on a layby at Big W

  8. Love that reference to Billy Elliot, so true. Sometimes when I write is just an overwhelming feeling of relief, a bit like what I imagine a drug addict would feel when scoring a hit. Don't know if that is a good analogy but it accurately describes my electricity!

  9. I love that Boom when it all comes together and you just know you wrote something precious.

    How fantastic that you met people who inspired and encouraged you to begin your writing journey.

  10. Like electricity. I love it!

    For me, it just makes sense. Everything makes sense when I'm writing. Not always when I'm reading it back to myself later, but that's a separate issue!

    Visiting from the Rewind.

  11. I so relate to finding ways to incorporate writing into non-writing jobs, I've been doing that all my working life. Now at 45 I am determined to actually great a book-length piece of work - my book - my mid-life crisis.

  12. Love this. Also love the career-limiting move of being a 'words person' at the bank! Thanks for Rewinding.

  13. I'm with you, if it comes out of mouth it just does. When it doesn't I just walk away because I know it will come out when it's good and ready. Words are so much better than numbers. Enjoyed your post. xx