Double Vision with Charlie Adley
By god it feels good to be working on something. Not just anything but something that requires creativity; something that I can describe as ‘my work.’ Nothing gives a writer more sense of identity, more self-confidence and self-doubt, more spring in the step and dark nights of the soul, more elation and dread than writing freely.
You have to make a living in this world and while I truly appreciate being able to earn money doing what I love, I also yearn to write unleashed.
Over the last few years I’ve started many stories. Enlarging scribbled almost indecipherable notes into sketches, I then tried filling out those sketches into substantial pieces of work, but each time I failed.
They didn’t grab me at all.
A writer never wants to throw anything away. Even when that note or half-written story feels empty of purpose, void of strength or simply offers no reason to exist, you keep it.
On my desktop there’s a folder called ’In Progress’ and inside that there’s another folder called ‘Where Does This All Go?’
Inside there I dump the detritus of years of failed attempts at whatever it was I was trying to do. Not once did I get down on myself. Instead I walked away from each piece knowing that I’d given it my best at that time, and might use some part of it in the future, or maybe not: either way, there had been no harm in its creation.
At least I tried.
At least I had a go.
I’d kicked my imagination up its backside and made sure it was still alive.
Then in March I was over in Tel Aviv for my lovely niece’s wedding, so I was able to spend some time with my friend and teacher, the Israeli writer Iris Leal. Although she’ll always be my teacher, these days we meet on level ground.
To read Charlie’s column in full, please see this week’s Galway City Tribune.