Throughout the long months of lockdown I’ve noticed several writers saying they can no longer write. My heart goes out to anyone who has been so affected by the current situation they can’t write. For whatever related reason, they have lost what in Wales we call, their hwyl.
In simple terms this means ones “motivation” for a task or endeavour. Now & then, I lose mine – it disappears down the back of the sofa for a day or two but invariably I find it. Sometimes I even go looking for it because the idea of not writing is anathema to me.
I find myself pondering why I’m one of the people who haven’t stopped writing. Sure, I’ve slowed down a bit – there are days when I write for one or two hours rather than four or five. And yes, it’s probably part of the general malaise. I don’t know, that’s the honest answer. All I do know is most days I write & I thank my lucky stars I’m not inclined to depression; I haven’t been floored by long term debilitation or lost anyone.
My current work in progress (Book 5) is a work in chaos. A lovely mess in which I have resurrected one previously dead character. (Up you get, dear – you have a role after all!) Changed the gender of another. (Sorry mate, I liked you well enough but you were wet.) I’ve changed the ending too. (Much better.)
This is what I love best about writing – the process. (This blog isn’t called Making it up as I go along for nothing.) It is always about the process. Once the original spark becomes a potential story, the sky is my limit. Once the characters are envisioned, I am free to play with them; assign them quirks & motivations, move them around, kill them off or give them life.
All of this is in my power & I love it! I love the tangents, the vagaries of my characters behaviour; I’m in thrall to the way the story drifts and hesitates, how it wander and merges, how each time I show up to write a bit more of it, it emerges, better & more satisfying.
My hwyl for my craft is a constant. It stirs my heart & it sharpens my pencils, while I’m not looking.