Long gone are the days when I leapt out of bed, washed (who owned a shower?!), put on a modicum of make-up (adding vampire-red lipstick), dressed, pulled a brush through my hair, gulped a cuppa, hastily downed my cereal and ‘dashed’ for my train. Dashes only appear in my writing these days…I rarely walked sedately anywhere and was once called a ‘whirling dervish.’ Thems was the days…
And now? Suffice it to say that a sort of ‘gradual reassembly of bodily components and parts’ might be an apt description. But, hey, I’m retired so, so what…and have the needed time; well mostly! ‘Retirement’ means different things to different people, and hurray for that. For me, it means – once the boring household tasks have been finished (though not always) – getting on that keyboard and trying to put my words in sufficiently intelligent order that they are understood, enjoyed and mean something to someone.
Fortunately – and I know that I am very lucky – my mind is even more fertile (glad something is) at my mature age than it was years ago. That is not an ego statement by the way – fertile doesn’t necessarily mean ’right’ or ‘better’! However, words do fall over each other for recognition in my head, and ‘writer’s block’ is a foreign expression. WHAT to write about is more relevant and will I have enough time! A tip for any young ‘uns – keep moving the age goal posts. It really does help. Worried about being 40/50/60? Pardon the hysterical laughter…I could write reams about ageing (boring) and will resist the temptation. Instead, I’ll write about two ingredients vital for a writer: enthusiasm and curiosity.
Strangely, I have more of that valuable ‘trait’ than ever (aware of the ticking clock perhaps?) Life is packed to overflowing with such a huge range of subjects to write about. WHAT? being the teaser. A bit like marriage, when the lustful passion fades (sadly, it does, youngsters) enthusiasm added to ‘fully rounded’ love, keeps it happily afloat.
If a person is only marginally interested in human nature, with all its fascinating quirks and foibles, they won’t prove to be very successful in the craft. What makes us all tick, is an intriguing subject in itself. Memorable characters in literature were often created by a combination of characteristics – often traits taken from one or more people the author may have met or heard about. I can recall a window cleaner: a pleasant enough man, reminding me of a weasel, which was at odds with his demeanor. Then there’s the curiosity of wanting to know what’s over the brow of that green/glowering hill or mountain; around that corner; the inside of that decaying/grand house. Wondering what those suspicious-looking men were doing down that alleyway/thinking about the changing sky and nature/animal behaviour/an overheard snippet of an odd conversation/or why the woman wearing a red dress at the next table, was looking so worried?! The subject is endless; so much material for writing meaningful, rich stories. I, for one, do try – and trying is what it’s all about.