Scribble thoughts for Autumn...

# "You wanna be a writer, but you don't know how or when? Find a quiet place and use a humble pen" - Paul Simon

When I first got into writing, I thought I should surround myself with the tools of the trade - I bought myself an old typewriter (which I never used!) and had a few fountain pens (one was even inscribed with my name!) and ink cartridges (that inevitably leaked).  Of course non of them made me any more productive on the scribbling front - I can't actually remember the last time I used a pen to write out in long-hand a chapter or new story (mostly, being a product of the latter-20th century, I write using my keyboard).

Funnily enough though recently, I've stumbled across a collection of "special" pens and pencils which I've collected over the years either as gifts or keepsakes and they reminded me of the need for a humble scribbler to sometimes get back to the basics of writing...
I've got notebooks filled with ideas for lots of stories I've never got round to developing, and probably won't, but sometimes, the act of pouring over them, like finding those old pens and pencils, helps to refocus where I am with my scribbles and acts to highlight how far I've come in my writing life so far...

I think "life" is the operative word in that last sentence.  Sometimes with anything you're working hard at over a lot of years, it can seem like you're wading through mud, but it's important to keep going and keep reminding yourself of the original reasons you got into the hobby for in the first place.

First and foremost I get a lot from my writing just in the act of putting words down on a page (whether they'll eventually get published or not) - it's a cathartic, therapeutic process for me.  It's how I express myself to the world, being a person of little voice in other places.  But there are of course other reasons - some mystical (I just know I was born to scribble - for good or for bad, I just can't help myself!) and I love a great story...

I love it when I connect with a story, be it on screen or on the page, and I admire narratives that can keep me hooked.  I love the art of it all.  And I aspire to one day construct a tale of my own that might hook one or two of you out there in the same way.  It's a process of learning and practising the art of writing - it's a journey.

Any journey is made up of stops and falls and forked paths.  I'll reflect more on this next month, but one milestone on my own personal writing journey as this year draws to a close is for me to recognise that a story I've been travelling along with for the best part of 15 years is finally at an end.  I've posted this year a bit already about the final draft of "my space saga" first novel but I've come to realise that it's time to close the cover on that book.  I've journeyed as far as I can with it, and while I'm not leaving it behind (the renewed search for a literary agent to represent it begins), I know it's time to pick up with a new travelling partner and start a new book (one that I've been itching to get my teeth into for a long while!) - but as I said, more on this next month.

The picture at the top of this post is of one of my most treasured writing pen pots - my wife made it for me early on in our own journey together, and it's something that sits above my keyboard, on a writing shelf, and helps remind me every day that this is a journey, and as is often said, it's the journey, not necessarily the destination that's the real point to it all.


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