I’ve not been around the past month or so as I’ve had a prolapsed disc in my back … and when you can’t sit down it puts a serious dent in your ability to either be at the desk to do the day job or try to get some writing done! I’m happy to report that after numerous medications, physiotherapy, exercises and more walking that I have ever done in my life – which is going to have to continue – I am on the road to recovery. Not quite there yet, but back at work and able to write a bit too.
Whilst walking – which has taken the form of short strolls across the heath and two-hour walks round town and circuits of the local lake – I’ve pondered plots for books and listened to some great music on my mobile. Which has meant I’ve had the time, whilst striding around, to really hear the lyrics and understand the feelings behind them. Which made me think about the links between songs and poetry and novels and art. They all tell stories or express something.They all try to make connections with people. They all attempt to touch the audience in some way and make them feel, whether it is sad or happy or regretful or excited.
And then one day I was listening to The Script’s If You Could See Me Now, which is about loss and grief. The lyrics are both deeply personal and universally true to people who have experienced bereavement, which most of us will at some time or another. It struck me how brave they are to sing so beautifully about their own very real pain, and it brought home to me that to make connections with the audience, writers and artists must write from the heart, must be willing to be vulnerable and expose a little – or a lot – of ourselves in telling their stories. Perhaps more than they might want to.
So I’m going to be brave. The novel I’m working on is not auto-biographical – most of my ideas come from snippets of overheard conversations and TV shows and newspaper headlines and the thousand and one other things I hear and see and feel every day that make up life’s tapestry – but I am going to use experiences I have been through when I write. I’m going to put myself back into those light and dark places and remember how I felt at the time and let the emotions spill onto the page. I am going to write honestly. I am going to write from the heart.
Will you be brave too?
Happy Writing, Nikki.