Dear Reader, those of you who are my friends on Facebook will know that I recently signed up to write four more Truly Tan books. There are currently four in existence so even though I failed Form Four maths (yes, more FOURS, what is that?) I calculate that eventually there will be eight books in the series. That is, when the series is finished... Four years from now. In 2018. Yes, 2018. Now, I don't mean to complain but can I share with you the scary side of writing? And it is scary. Creative, playful, carefree Jen looks at these wonderful, generous, exciting contracts and, well, she quakes with fear. I adore writing, really I do. To be lost in a story brings me a kind of exhilaration I cannot describe (ha!). There are often nights when I can't wait to get to sleep simply so I can wake up the next morning and wriggle back inside my story. But as the years tick by and I achieve a certain level of 'success' I find that writing does not feel so much like creative expression anymore. There is too much riding on it. Will the readers enjoy? Will the critics and reviewers be kind? Will the publishers be pleased? And on it goes. For the past year I have been attending art classes. I have always loved drawing but never had the courage to pursue it. But now, one year on, I do not have the courage to live without art. My art. My inept, scratchy, tentative art. It gives me so much joy. It is so liberating to create without any expectations. To PLAY. It feeds my writing, too, and I will talk about that in another post.
Today we lost Robin Williams and I feel gutted. But I have art to turn to and I am so grateful. I have abandoned my writing. I have put Sigur Ros on really loud and I am splashing about with watercolour and ink washes. There is no sense to be made of this beautiful man's passing and I am not foolish enough to strive for anything so elusive as 'understanding'. I am simply honouring the creative impulse. Something we all share. Something that speaks more powerfully, more viscerally, than the intellect ever could. It is almost enough. xx