J’écris, donc je suis.
23. Dundee, Scotland. Back for a second round of university life – it’s like being a teenager again, only someone replaced all the tequila slammers with tax returns.
I brood. I talk loquaciously about many books, whether I have read them or not. Recent classics include “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, and “The Bell Jar”. I am currently enjoying the immensely funny and subversive “Ayoade on Ayoade: a Cinematic Odyssey”.
Sometimes I am loquacious in a professional manner, teaching occasional creative writing seminars, and producing short fiction, poetry, reviews and opinion pieces for a variety of publications. I have been advised to be more sympathetic when editing a local arts magazine, but criticism treats art the way art treats reality, and slashing a 7500-word interview transcript to fit a 3000-word window is MUCH harder than one might anticipate.
When inspiration ebbs low I go on walks, eat out (with or without friends), attend debating and dramatics societies, or practise with my juggling clubs. I listen to ’80s synth pop to wake up, classical to cheer up, and jazz to wind down. Usually I prefer instrumentals, but some of my more inventive poetic images have come from misheard or reinterpreted lyrics.
I maintain an interest in politics and social activism, particularly regarding the subject of Scottish independence. I recently attempted to bake unsupervised by a responsible adult, and emerged from the smouldering kitchen two hours later with several burns, a sliced finger, and a tray of brown sugary concrete. Upsetting, but one must persevere.
Hemingway said “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” I have a lot of blood-letting to do.
And not just on account of flapjacks.