makar [ˈmækər]
n (Literature / Poetry) Scot a creative artist, esp a poet
[a Scot variant of maker]

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A couple of days ago, a very lovely friend of mine mentioned that she knows a local writer who I really admire and would I maybe like to meet up for a cuppa with her. "Yes!" was my immediate reaction, and then a moment later a wave of panic rolled over me. What would I say to her? What do I want to know? What could I talk to her about that wouldn't make me sound like a complete idiot? Because, over the years, I've seen lots of writers, at various festivals, discussing their work, and sometimes they're wonderful and sometimes they are not, but the part that always makes my skin crawl is when members of the audience are allowed to ask questions. There seem to be two types of question: ones that are specific to a particular piece of work, often a single character, and frequently impossible for the author to answer. These questions are from frustrated readers who want more; who want the characters to live beyond the pages of the book; and who aren't willing to let go. The second type are concerned with the writing process and are pretty much always a variation on the following: "How do you do it? How do you write? Where? When? How much? Please tell me everything, 'cause I really want to be a successful writer and I need to know the secret, whatever it may be..."

I don't want to ask either type of question because I don't think they can be answered with any sense of satisfaction. So what do I want to know? I'm not sure. My writing sessions at the moment seem to be full of questions, literally long lists of them, and they are questions only I can answer. But that's not to say I don't want to meet her. I really do. There's nothing better than finding out someone else has experienced what you are experiencing, and who knows what I might discover...


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