Words fly away. At least, that’s how it feels once I get them on the page. Until then they bounce around in my head, solid fully-formed sentences waiting to be let out. I walk home with them, go out with them, wake up with them – I have no control over when they arrive. All I can do is turn them over again and again, placating them until I can get to a place where they can be set free. Once written, they dissipate, gossamer, ethereal, and I cannot truly recall them again. Only by reading am I reminded.

I’ve been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, and in one section she talks about how it feels when you get an idea. She references a poet, Ruth Stone, who said that she could feel the ideas coming towards her, galloping across the fields, and she had to be ready to catch them and write them down. Quite magical, really. And that’s how these sentences feel when they come to me – captured ideas that I have to write down and set loose again, like unruly children bouncing around, knocking at the doors of my mind and demanding to go outside.

Another favourite author of mine is the late great Douglas Adams. His posthumous release, The Salmon Of Doubt, is a collection of writing collated from his notes over the years, including an unfinished Dirk Gently novel. Some are excellent, especially his account of two dogs he used to meet on his daily walks. Many of them are fragments. Ideas that come and demand to be written down. I have a folder of them myself – I imagine most writers do. Partially finished stories, some still holding the magic potential to grow and become fully fledged, other just bits and thoughts and dreams. All of them have one thing in common – they demanded to be written.

This blog, also, is a collection of fragments. And this is today’s.

18 thoughts on “Fragments

    • Bum. Dropped the phone and pressed send on the way down. She didn’t want him to be over. A bit like fragments. You always want a few as reminders there’s more to come.

      • I felt the same way when I read Salmon – it was a bittersweet experience, to think that he wouldn’t write any more, so I understand Sacha completely. It would have been great if he had finished the Dirk Gently book. Gone far too soon…

      • Yep. Have you ever watched the Doctor Who episode he wrote when he had a season as script editor. The effects are shite but the story is pure Adams.

      • Would that have been in the Tom Baker era? Because he is ‘my’ Doctor Who 🙂 I remember the original BBC series of Hitchhikers, with the brilliant theme tune.

  1. I love your blog and the way you are able to capture your ideas so beautifully, yet concisely—it really is like an ongoing conversation with you, each post adding another layer. It’s like an oasis of peace in cyberspace! Well done!

    I’ve just finished ‘Big Magic’, too, and loved it. I loved Liz G’s views on ideas, too—they do seem to pass through you, often in an emotional way, and sometimes it’s hard to capture them fully and quickly, to give them a form in words. My favourite concept from her book was about making art for art’s sake, creating what you want and not worrying if it’s any good. Hell, yes—that’s what I’m going to do!

    • Oh, I loved that bit too! It was a timely reminder, as I’d got a bit caught up in reviews and why aren’t many people looking at my blog and reading my book – it was as if she tapped me on the shoulder and said “hey! Remember why you’re doing this.’ It felt like letting out a breath long held. So I’m adopting a Field of Dreams mindset though, instead of ‘if you build it, they will come,’ I’ll say ‘if I write it, they will read.’ Whether they is one or ten thousand people, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I write. And thanks so much for your kind words about my blog. I really do just write what comes to me, and I’m as surprised as anyone as to which posts people are into. I’m glad it comes across that way to you – I feel the same about your blog as well, that it is considered, honest, well-written and your Midweek Moment is a little bit of midweek calm. It’s been very nice getting to know you through your blog and beyond 🙂

  2. I haven’t read her book, but I have watched her Ted talk which discusses elements of this. And I am sure you know I 100% agree. This is what happens to me too, mostly, I am sad to say, when I am driving. And thats when I feel like that poet running back to her house frantically in search of a pen so she can grab the poem’s tail as it leaves the other side of her body.

    • Oh no! I’m often out when the words come to me as well, and I find I have to keep turning the phrases over in my mind, almost stroking them, to keep them with me until I can write them down. Big magic indeed 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s