Monday, 16 January 2012

My Cold Hard Writer.

There’s a side of me that I call the ‘Cold Hard Writer’ part. And sometimes I hate it. I walked along the canal at lunch today and I have this tendency not to look to closely at the water. Just in case. I don’t really want to see a body floating there. Now, firstly it’s a very unlikely occurrence but – and this is the nasty bit – my ‘Cold, Hard Writer’ (henceforth CHW) wants to know what it would look like. It wants the story to tell its friends, it wants to know what happened and how. It wants to experience every damn thing in the world and it doesn’t really care much for the sensibilities of the person carrying it!

Because I am very sensitive. I don’t watch horror movies, I don’t like any form of violence. Hell, I even find Tom & Jerry distressing. But the CHW doesn’t think like that, it’s like a hungry dog gulping back everything it’s been given and yearning for more. It’s the bit that wants to see a volcano erupt, feel an earthquake shake the world or watch a tornado pick up a farmhouse (or whatever they do. Ireland doesn’t get many!). The rest of me, of course, is more practical; if it wasn’t, I’d probably be dead by now. A sobering thought, but not for my CHW who immediately gets out pad and pen and says ‘Yes, but what is being dead like? What do you experience?’ (Granted, my CHW is not alone in that query).

I wonder do all artists feel like this? Like there’s a core of them that is steely and will record every little detail even while the world ends around them. It’s quite a fascinating little creature and it come to fore for me a couple of times in my own work. The example that springs immediately to mind is a scene involving a horrible big moth. I hate moths, I despise them with every fibre of my being, and yet I managed to write the scene. I can only assume CHW is to be thanked for that. Of course, editing it should be a barrel of laughs but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. I’m sure when we do, CHW will be looking eagerly over the side to see if any corpses got caught underneath.

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