Sunday, 25 March 2012

The writer and the creative daemon

In The Lucian Uprising, the author Winifred Rawlings talks of her writing process, and this is not unlike my own. She doesn't mention the involvement of a creative daemon or guiding spirit or other unseen muse in the process, nor does she offer a psychological explanation, but I think that she would be kindly disposed to such an idea. The benevolent, mythological daemon is not to be confused with the malignant demon of Judeo-Christian belief systems. Anyhow, here's what Mrs. Rawlings has to say on the matter:

“The final thing that I'd like to mention before we move on and before I forget, is that when I write, I don't plan it out as do many who write to patent formulae. Though I've tried, that approach just doesn't seem to work for me. Very often, indeed most often, I'm not at all sure where the words come from; or for that matter, even a good share of the subsequent copy editing. Certainly not from the conscious mind. The words just seem to appear in my mind and write themselves of their own accord.”

“The writer never seems to sleep. I've lost count of the ideas and storylines that have come to me in the middle of the night, ideas that I always think I'll remember when I wake up in the morning and, over and over again, have been singularly unable to recall. I take a pen and paper to bed, and go to bed determined to stir myself and write the ideas down, but once asleep that resolve seems to evaporate, and I wake up frustrated by my weakness and incompetence.”

“You could say, in a way, that I'm not actually a writer, though perhaps I might be called a recorder? And when I come to edit the work afterwards, it's not so much the writing which I correct as the faults in this recording. Or perhaps I'm merely an actor reciting her lines? Some have asked whether I'm a medium, but that's not a term I care to use: it has so many unfitting and bizarre metaphysical connotations. So I call myself a recorder. I just happen to be one of those holding the pen, that's all.”

Painting: The Muse of Poesie by Konstantin Makovsky (1839–1915).

• By Etienne de L'Amour ~ Google+

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