# "I'm going down to Hollywood, they're gonna make a movie from the things that they find crawling round my brain" # - Counting Crows

Time slides away
all too quickly...
As a writer and general "creative type" I have many idiosyncracies, and I'm the first to admit that I'm getting more and more eccentric as I grow older (just ask my wife for proof on that point!), but one of my more mild foibles is that I can't sleep in the same room as a ticking clock...  I say "mild", but in fact, I've been known to take batteries out of every clock in the vicinity if needs be, in an attempt to stop the relentless clunk of the marking of the passage of time...

This has got me to thinking about what makes me tick as a writer. Why do I do it?  Why do strange ideas pop into my head at strange times of the day and night, and why does my brain then connect those ideas with ones I had say 3 years ago and propose I make a story out of them?   Why do I feel the need to scribble tiny ideas onto random scraps of paper,  wherever I am?  (It's for this reason I'm never without a pen or something to write notes down on!)

I think if I'm honest, the basic truth of it is "escapism" - I always have and still do use writing as an outlet and a distraction from everyday life.  Strangely I come home from my day job and "destress" and unwind by giving myself more work with my story writing.  But it's where my true happiness lies, and so my scribbles, although they do (and will) take years and years of practice, are something I must do with my life, whether I'm successful commercially in the long run or not.

Time ticks on... never going backwards!
But still, I wonder where that impetus and that spark comes from that makes me need to write creatively as I go through life...  I won't dwell on this for too long because I'm wasting good scribbling time, but I guess it's perhaps also got something to do with the eternal search humans are said to have to seek out the "unknown" in life...  so that we can become more than we are and "grow" (the irony of course being that as time ticks on and I grow older, I often have moments when I realise I'm just becoming more and more like myself!  But I'm also growing more content with that realisation too)  It's really more the acceptance that everyone, including your humble self, has something valid to say, and allowing yourself space and time to get it out there, whether it be on a blog or a social media site, or the pages of a printed book, and be proud of it, "it's all good"as a present work colleague of mine is fond of saying.

I remember back at university (many turns of the clock ago now!), whilst beginning to grow sick of academia, when the seeds of my creative scribbles were first being sown, I would read devour the works of George Orwell.  Of all his fiction I read, though, his book of essays was most striking to me, and especially his piece called "Why I Write"...  Even though it was written way back in more "old-fashioned" days, it's well worth a read, even for struggling scribblers in this 21st century hi-tech world...  And to end this pondering post on what makes me tick as an author, here's my own (by no means complete) list of "Why C.G.Allan Writes":

I write...
  • to entertain
  • to connect with my fellow man
  • to retain my sanity
  • to escape to new worlds I can control
  • to emulate my heroes
  • to preserve my personal history
  • to make the ordinary extraordinary
  • to remember the past
  • to honour those I love
  • to celebrate the oddness of life
  • to laugh at all things serious
  • to explore life paths not taken
  • to rediscover my childhood optimism
  • to dream of possibilities...

Now it's "Time" to feature a time-turning teaser for one of the tales featured on my Official Writing Homepage - so here's the first trailer for my own season of (mini) summer blockbusters for 2012:


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