One of the challenges of writing is knowing when to leave your work and its contents alone.
When I am writing I have a clear ‘in’ and a clear ‘out’ its similar to the way I prepare for a slam. I relax, and place my mind where I need it to be. Sometimes I have a song that provides the ‘in’- this inspires me and places my attention where I need it to be. It awakens what I require – a feeling or affect – to begin.
Equally, I have a clear ‘out’ this is the part of the process that when I was younger and less experienced was tougher to negotiate. I usually go ‘out’ in silence – and find something practical to do that I can focus on. It might be a small chore or a bit of diary management.Often it is a conversation with a friend or family member.
It’s helpful to me to think of my writing as I would a relationship with a person I respect. I find this helps me write truly, and respectfully – towards the work.
Having said that I often write in ‘hot zones’ – I go to places I find challenging. Writing is about pushing boundaries, and you have to leave your politeness behind. ‘Fuck Polite’ – there are places you go in the work that very correctly upset people. You must respectfully face the enquiry in regards to your motives and integrity. That is only fair. However, misconceptions can sometimes surface. It is entirely possible you will upset somebody, especially if they are invested in your work. If that is the case, they have every right to enquire as to your intentions in the work. I hope in these cases that my clean and delineated process is apparent in my interactions.
There is a character in a Dickens novel, a banker. I forget his name and I forget the novel he appears in. At business and in the day to day, he is exacting and not very generous. A hard man to get a favour from, though excellent at his job. A paradigm of his chosen profession. But if you catch him at home, his sentiments are entirely different, and his generosity and compassion is apparent.
So my question is this: is writing a job to do; or a place to live?