I am a big fan of the Library Service. After churches, and interesting bookshops, I love to spend time in the library. My library organises some wonderful literary events during the year. Many of them low key and local. I did my first creative writing course, for free, in my library. I have been to an intimate talk on ‘How to Get Published’ in my library. Recently I got to hear one of my favourite authors, Alexander McCall Smith, courtesy of the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Library Service. Alex, or Sandy as he likes to be called, is the author of the hugely successful No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series which is set in Botswana. He also writes various other series – many set in his home city of Edinburgh.
He is extraordinarily relaxed and laughs so easily that just being in his presence lifts one’s spirits.
He is a prolific writer. If I remember correctly he said he publishes up to 3 books per year. And he makes it sound so easy. He doesn’t write every hour God sends. He writes for three hours in the morning. This clever and articulate man believes that writing comes from the subconscious and that once we can get into the writing zone and access this part of our minds, the writing just flows. The stories just write themselves is what he said. He followed that by sharing the fact that he does very little editing. What a joy it was to listen to him.
So, if like me, you tend to spend (waste) hours reading ‘How To Write’ books and trawling websites and blogs for hints and tips, maybe you should take heed of Sandy’s words.
I agree that all writing is borne out of our own experiences and once you can relax and be grounded enough to access this rich repository of material, the words will flow directly from this sealed part of your mind to the keyboard.
I think that many of us find this to be true. When you try to hard to write something wonderful, it doesn’t read true. But when you are relaxed and just start writing, you often produce something wonderful and authentic. You are writing from your heart.
So I hereby announce the setting up of the No 1 Laid Back Lazy Literary Ladies Society and we are open to new members. Thanks to Brigid O Connor over at Sort of Witty for her help in developing this idea. I hereby bestow on her vice chairwomanship of this august and worthwhile organisation. So – can we sign you up?