Thursday, December 07, 2006


Yesterday I received a rejection of a poem I sent off ages ago. I'd forgotten all about it. It was a silly thing I wrote in Spain earlier this year and it made me realise what a big year this has been. I wrote the poem in Barcelona while drunk from the night before (wearing my purple poncho and pouring rioja at 8am and justifying my heroic level of drinking on the fact that ponchos are Mexican and Mexicans speak Spanish, therefore it was okay for me to drink like a Spaniard), and generally just drunk on the awesomeness of life. I was in Barcelona, I had been to Turkey, I had quit my job, I had no idea where I was going that day or for the rest of the year. This was a reckless and irresponsible time even by my standards. When you're not qualified for a Goddamned thing, it's probably not advisable to quit the secure job you stumbled into as an editor of a magazine. And yet...

Anyway, I've been so busy with my latest leftfield change of occupation that I've all but forgotten what writing meant to me. In the same way I managed to pretend to be an okay sub-editor and managed to bluff a few people that I had a clue about dance music and managed to dress up my peculiar way of seeing the world as humour, I'm now somehow managing to pick up enough knowledge on the run to convince a few people that I'm some kind of chef. How the fuck do I get myself into these things?

But the writing, Quick, what about the writing? Is that it? Have you written all you are going to write? Are you really satisfied with what you have achieved?

I sometimes tell myself that yes, I have proved my point. A national short story award five years ago, a string of short stories in respected publications. My own humour column and a regular stream of theatre reviews, since deciding earlier in the year that I wanted to be a theatre reviewer, these are good things. Especially for someone who left school at 16 and has not studied.

But today I'm not sure I believe that this is enough. It's not good enough to say that's enough, no need for any more.

The rejection of my silly little Haiku called Bareclona made me miss the whole process of writing. I used to love getting those rejections because it was one more fucker to prove wrong.

I used to wonder why I wrote. Now I'm wondering why I don't.


Invisible said...

That's a good thing to wonder. We just had a discussion in class yesterday about the four things you have to have to be a writer.
Communication skills

You've already got the talent, and obviously the communication skills. Maybe you need to get that hunger back.

We argued for a while in class about which of these four things was most important. The drunk-ass George Plimpton wannabe insisted that all you need is talent. And while he is talented, he hasn't published shit. A couple of the talentless hacks in our class have published a lot, because they've got the other three down cold.

And, since I practically gave myself away anyway, go to That's where I post more often.

Quick said...

What's the hunger about though? Hunger for what?

I kind of know what you mean though. Although I wouldn't use the word hunger, unless we're talking about successful writer as opposed to just writer. I probably think in terms of drive or energy.

Was a time I'd see ordinary daily stuff and always see a story. Part of a story. A character. But I don't dress it up as fiction anymore.

I have an itch that I occasionally scratch. It's not really feeling good enough though.

And you're right - there's no hunger there.

Also, a fifth thing you need to be a writer could be luck. I think you need a bit of that.

Thanks for your kind words, InvisibleViki. I will be a regular reader of your babbling shortly...

guyana-gyal said...

Maybe you just need to sit still for a while, Lee.

I think it troubles you, this is the second or third time you've written about it. So find the time to sit still and think. Being still is ever so underrated.

Quick said...

It's definitely a state of mind, GG. I made the time to do a sort piece the other day and it felt so nice.

But there is work to be done and bills to be paid.

What you say is right though. Need to find the time and space. The stillness.