Tuesday, 2 July 2013
What I write - #wordpad blog challenge
WHAT I WRITE
I have decided to take the July challenge from the www.writesofluid.com website and today's prompt is what I write.
Those of you who have been following me for a while will know that I write mainly poetry but it hasn't always been the case and bear with me if some of what follows you have read before in another post.
When I first began my creativity with words I wrote little songs (around 10 years of age into teenage years). I made up songs in my head and memorised them until I bought my first guitar at 16 or 18 (I forget) and began working out how to play the tunes and then taped them onto cassette! I have to say at this stage that my bibles for guitar playing were Alfred's Chord Fingerline Dictionary and my hero Dan Morgan whose book Guitar cost me 30p (full price!). I still have these books and it was Dan Morgan who gave me the idea of multiple recordings - very basic......playing the first recording back through the hi-fi and using a second cassette recorder to record a harmony or other instrument. By 'eck did I have fun with that. I cannot tell you how many hours I spent in my bedroom with my brother's Sony mono cassette recorder so I could add some harmony to the songs I wrote (somewhere along the way I upgraded to a stereo recorder). Sad person or what? Ah but fun!
I used to write with some of my penpals and I'd always have to do the tunes as no one else could so I put others' lyrics to music. It was great fun and I even sent a few out......one went to Mickey Most. I always got nice 'compliments slips' back with my tape.
While I was busy making....er.....music (by then I had a Casio keyboard but am a hopeless player!) I also wrote a few poems. They mainly rhymed and were quite simple. I did get one published in a teenage magazine but they left out one of the lines grrrr! I also began writing stories which for some reason always swung towards science fiction (perhaps a diet of Dr. Who and the original Stark Trek series was to blame). I still have these stories written in exercise books which sometimes I take a look at for the nostalgia!
Someone then said 'give up the songwriting and write poems but I didn't want to. I loved writing songs but was hampered by my ability not to be able to play more complex chords and I didn't write or read music. I was influenced by The Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel and the Everly Brothers because of their harmonies which I listened to and learnt, finding that I could work out harmonies for my own songs. I loved listening to Karen Carpenter sing.
Eventually when I married and had kids the songwriting stopped as did the guitar playing and the dreadful keyboard attempts. The guitar came out maybe once a year perhaps to play song Carols at Christmas and to teach my kids that classic line from Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple.
At some point I began writing poetry again. When my father died it was poetry that expressed all my feelings. It helped me. Things went from there. I wrote more and began looking into where I might get it published. I fell for the 'vanity press' for a while but I began to learn. I went to a few workshops, had a few poems published in small press magazines, joined a class, went to an open mic session (no I didn't read - I went to see what it was like). I am still learning, networking, blogging, getting into all this new technology stuff and enjoying myself.
I haven't written a song for 15 or so years maybe. I have written a few short stories and I am beginning to challenge myself with flash fiction. I can't imagine a time when I won't write something. When I've been down and thought of giving up (and I have many times) I find that something will get inside my head and I have to write it down. I still get disappointed, have days when I won't write while I get over the stages of emotion that a rejection has on me but I come back to it. There seems to be nothing I can do about it.
So what I write these days is mainly poetry. I play with forms but write mainly free-verse. I write about anything that interests me. Recently a lot of darker stuff has been coming out! I begin to see a pattern in what I write but I often need prompts to kick start the creative process. Yesterday I was doing an exercise where I had to write a poem about another world that had rules but I was not to actually state what they were. It should be possible to work it out from the poem. Not easy but I found myself warming to the subject and could see a story developing rather than a poem (er...it's a bit sci-fi, surprise, surprise!). I never know where my writing will lead. Sometimes it will start as one thing and develop into something else. That's the exciting part and I have to learn to let that go where it wants.
I also have a toe in flash fiction. I will stir the waters and see where it leads!
If you are a writer reading this how did you get started? Please comment.
Finally, my poem Bluebells has been published in Openings 30 - The Poetry Society of the Open University. This is their 2013 anthology. It arrived in the post today and there I am on page 11.