The joys of writing

“I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.”William Carlos Williams

To be or not to be?

I agree with this. Writing is an affliction difficult to control, and when you start, there is a good chance that you will be hooked for life. As a matter of fact, there ought to be a warning label on your keyboard alerting you to this hazard.

Everybody has hobbies… at least I hope so because if you didn’t you would be a very dull individual.

Personally, I have different side interests, one of which is a fondness for writing. To be candid, I always had a fertile imagination. As a child, I had to write school “compositions” and I always enjoyed making up stories. I was of course writing in French, but it does not make any difference. Writing is writing, regardless of the language.

Writing is also a very stimulating occupation. I call it the “gymnastics of the mind.” To be good at it, you need regular practice, stamina, agility, and occasionally, a square split.

Everybody has a different style and a distinct way of putting a story together. My style is irreverence laced with humor. My very name predisposed me to this; when I was a child every kid naturally called me “effronté” (a play on my name) which in French means cheeky, brazen.
With a name like this, I was clearly destined to be irreverent.

When I tackle a subject, I put pell-mell on paper everything which springs into my mind about my chosen topic. It is like building a house; you bring all the needed material and put in on the ground next to where you plan to build your dwelling. And then you start assembling.

A computer, by the way, is the ideal writer’s helper. When summoned, it instantly helps to authenticate whatever you write about. I don’t think that I could manage without it.

I might write for an hour or two and then take a break. A text is like bread; it has to be kneaded and rested a few times before rising to perfection.

I often sleep on a story and wake up in the middle of the night with a new idea. This is why I sometimes don’t turn my computer off for a few days. I can then get up and easily insert a new turn of phrase to my story.

Writing is above all a kind of introspection. It reflects your thinking and often forces you to reexamine your values. Why do I dislike a certain person? Or a certain philosophy? Why am I enamored of this idea?

Whenever I write I don’t need a confessor; I bare my soul in my scribblings. I always hated anyway the idea of revealing all my dark secrets to a priest. What good would it do me? And this guy might use my confessions to write a best seller thus depriving me of making a bundle with my escapades. No, I would rather confess to my readers than to a bible thumper.

So, if you feel bored during those rainy days, try your hand at writing. It is not easy but the most difficult thing about it by far is to start.

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”Jodi Picoult

Alain

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