These last few weeks it seems I have been driven by the demands of e-publication: the advent of the e-book, whilst a great new frontier for the aspiring writer, is a hard task-master. So much time has to be devoted to chasing those little errors around the screen – a task which, in times gone by, was the province of the great unseen – those who held the grease-guns to the engine of the press. It is an experience very like arriving for a meal at a fine restaurant, only to be told to assist in cooking it first.
Is that arrogant? Well yes, I suppose it is. Wasn’t it Laurie Lee who extolled the virtues of writing by hand: the flow and rhythm of the mind and the pen, etcetera? And sometimes I truly wish I could write by hand, but I confess the keyboard has very much become my pen, and the flow and rhythm part has been replaced by RSI, or something of the like. So now I am paying the price of ease. Although I may not wish it, the engine room is still very much with us; the skills required may differ – HTML does not respond particularly to a grease-gun – but ‘word processing’ is far from simple. In fact the very term is a lie.
I am learning, though, and could learn so much more, if there were more time. But writing is an obsession – even this – and each moment I sit before this screen is a moment lost if I am not saying something, telling a story to someone, trying to make life better!
If I examine the changes of the years, that is the difference: for so much of my life writing has been self-indulgent, a personal expression maybe to sensitive to be exposed to daylight. Now, I need to share, need to relate, which is why so much of my ‘old stuff’ no longer works. I have to begin anew; and as I draw dangerously close to December, a fortnight chasing dots is a long time.