The thing about writing is that it’s magic.
Think about it. The relationship between the writer and the reader is one that spans centuries and continents. It is a telepathic, teleportation device, transporting the reader to another world. Someone else’s world. Like magic.
The question is, how is that magic made? How is it brought to life? How do you send people away to another world to live another life?
The thing about magic is the ingredients.
Imagination, Ink and Paper. That’s all you need to create real magic. All you need to spread spells across a page, to travel mountains and swim oceans. The key is the first ingredient. Imagination. Everyone has that spark of it somewhere within them, unique to every person, patented to their special brand of life. What’s more magical than that?
The thing about ingredients though, is how you put them together.
It’s all well and good to have that magic spark lighting up within you, but how do you get it out? Ink and Paper. Right now, these words are being scrawled across a page with a new pen, the words “weapon of mass creation” stamped across a blue backdrop in bold black letters. What’s more true than that? You, with your spark and your pen, are a weapon of mass creation. Creation. Magic.
The book is also new. Sort of. In reality it’s been sitting on a shelf, with its twenty-odd brothers and sisters, for just under a year now. They are all pretty little notebooks, collected from various forbidden entries into bookstores, or given as gifts by those who don’t quite understand the addiction they’re feeding. They are all empty notebooks.
The thing about ink is that it goes with paper like happiness goes with sadness.
Finding that right balance of darkness, so that the words are nice and smooth but don’t seep through the page to the other side. The ink itself must flow fast enough to keep up with the thoughts and words flowing from the tip but not so fast as to make a mess of things as it’s scrawled across a page in an illegible mess.
The thing about paper, the thing about notebooks is that they’re home.
Crack open a new book or notebook and you smell it. Passion, wonder, beauty, love, contentedness. This is why notebooks are so easy to purchase. They speak to you. Somehow, they reach out to that little spark of imagination within you and speak to it. Igniting that ember into a flame, a whisper. A delicious whisper. And, as you flick through the pages of the beautiful notebook, feeling the soft leather texture of a moleskin cover, that whisper grows louder. You’re possessed as you take it to the counter, the sound of pages falling against each other, and that lingering smell – any writer will know that it’s worth mentioning twice. That smell … it’s home.
The thing about home is that you can’t get caught up in keeping it nice and clean.
Home isn’t meant to be clean, it’s meant to be messy. Because that’s life. Messy and chaotic and scattered with scribbled out passages and scratched out words. Replacements squeezed into those tight spaces between lines. Life is chaotic. So too should be your writing. Especially those first writings, tentatively etched in your pretty new notebook with your too-fast-flowing ballpoint pen.
The thing about being neat and clean… is that you don’t have time for everything else – you don’t have time to get to the real crux of the matter. Creation. Magic. Life.
What else is there to be said? Don’t be neat. Let those whispers and embers turn into the ancient dance around the blazing fire. Let it be chaotic. Let it breathe life and fire and words and music, pounding away at the life pumping through your veins. Feel it. Feel that fire masquerading as a spark. Feel it surging, stuck in your throat until you’re not sure if you want to dance or be sick. Feel the wave crash over your mind, the light bulb burst into a thousand bright shards of somethings.
There! You feel that? That is magic. Words and ink and paper and a history of scrawled out words caving in on each other and bursting meaning into your mind from this sheet-covered table in a blue kitchen to wherever it is you are.
Magic is real. It’s right here, happening right now, between you and me. And the real question is: when is magic ever simple and neat and clean? It’s not.
So, be messy.
For that is the thing about writing.
The Jade Writer Girl