The Editor goes spelunking

Reed is in bed eating chocolate ice-cream and pondering how to be really truly deeply blood-curdling in prose. It’s clearly very absorbing. I mentioned the blog to her and she told me to post something myself if I was that bothered. I think she may have sworn at me. Such is my lot in life.

So I had a little blog-trawl to see if I could find anything interesting to remark on. And – bless the Internet and all its denizens – I found this very interesting post on the role of the subconscious in writing, by BikeProf (also known as the Hobgoblin of Little Minds. Cool name, no?) This is all highly novel and heady stuff to a mere Editor, who never normally stops to consider such impedimenta as where the reams of gibberish Reed presents me with come from.

However, we, that is, the collective entity that houses Reed and my good self, were sitting on a bench a few weeks ago, in the late summer sunshine, and generally feeling very peaceful and at one with as much nature as is generally available in an inner-city garden. Reed was not really present, having dozed off, so I had nothing much to do (it burns me to admit how dependent I am on her for entertainment). However, as I twiddled my non-existant thumbs, it was becoming increasingly apparent that there were not two but three of us in here.

Now normally Reed comes up with something, and I lean over her shoulder pointing out typos, repetitions, and shocking bad grammar, and Reed tries to ignore me, and then we wrestle for control of the keyboard. Sometimes – many times – she obstinately falls silent and tries to tune me out, and I bellow all the louder until she comes to and returns her attention to the writing. Or deletes it.

But that afternoon in the sleepy sunlight, I heard another voice. Indistinct, and very far away. Telling stories, hundreds at once, without words.

I can only surmise that Reed is trying to take dictation from this little voice, trying to fit words to the near-soundless… flavours, I suppose, or feelings, or shapes slipping down beneath the sunlight. With me screaming in her other ear all the way.

And I can’t work out if I am trying to drag her back to the firm shores of language, or if she is clinging onto me to stop herself being swept under.

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3 Responses to The Editor goes spelunking

  1. Titania says:

    Hmmm… interesting. I’ve done my best writing, not in a sensible and composed state of mind, but in a frenzy.

    A frenzy of anger (got me the best grade I’ve ever had for a college essay), of grief (edited h2g2 entry on Astrid Lindgren), of passion (rather pitiful attempt to describe Flamenco dance, but it was my first ever edited entry), eagerness to share photos that willl probably appear pretty exotic to those who don’t get snow in the winter (edited entries on Ice Hotel and How to make a snow lantern).

    When I tried writing a fictional series for the h2g2 Post, I based several episodes on inspiration I got in dreams while fast asleep. The trouble was that I didn’t always have inspirational dreams, and I couldn’t for the life of me do any creative writing without them, so in the end I had to give it up.

    I do admire people who do their writing as if it was their work – disciplined, hard work. I’ve never managed to do it myself – I have wasted hours staring at a blank sheet of paper with a mind completely devoid of any thoughts, intelligent or not… *shudders at memory*

  2. Reed says:

    It’s amazing how blank a mind can get when faced with a, err, blank. Insert complex metaphor about mirrors and psychic vampirism here.

  3. AB says:

    How absolutely fascinating. And intriguing.


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