Why I Write

Flea-blog1 The sound is like a low growl. You mightn’t hear it but even when I look at peace, I’m making it. Then I itch and scrape. Is my stomach empty? Do I need a walk? A nap? A blanket? Kibble? Tranquilizing?

Reading, yes that calms me. For a while. Until there is something in the book that reminds me of my story. Oh, so I think I could do better than the writer? Well, let’s see it then, come on!

I go out, see friends instead.

I’m among people, reducing them to characters. Scrutinizing them as they speak, I wonder how I would best describe their features, their expressions, the sound of their voices, the texture of their hair, their energy, their teeth, their smell, their size, their ideas, their accents. I’m exhausted. I go home determined to get up early, get a real run at it.

A hearty breakfast. Back on the chain gang. Stacking the words one next to the other. Back breaking work bent over that one track as morning becomes afternoon, the sentence shifting, extending, shortening.

From the menial, I’ll build meaning.

Is my stomach empty? Something sweet? Check mail? Weather? How’s Mum? A fashion agent calls, wants to put me forward for a design job. Good God, no! I hang up and write all the way through till night. I will do this till I finish. Then I will do it all over again. I know I will be doing it years from now. I can’t help it.

That means something.

You can get my novel Silk for the Feed Dogs here


  1. That sounds equally back-breaking but waaaay more creative than my current spring cleaning phase. Not relevant, but I apply similar scrutiny standards on my stuff – although I hope I won’t be doing it years from now 🙂

    • But I am counting on my octogenarian Lia In Brussels missives 🙂 Bet your apartment is cleaner than mine at the minute..:-? ANd the immediate gratification of a blindingly clean bathroom is one of life’s delights. You don’t quite get that with the writing…XO

  2. If it was easy everyone would be published. XO
    (hmmm- I wonder if I would be one of your characters if we hung out…)

  3. I love this- I’m really not a writer, by any means, but it’s a means to an end for me in terms of communicating! I deeply admire anyone who can face blank paper daily and come up with such beautiful things- as you do!

  4. For years I walked around composing sentences in my head, descriptions of what I saw. I thought I was slightly mad. Then you meet people like you and thoughts of madness recede. Head still full of sentences.

    • Are you writing, other than the blog, of course? You know, you have a lovely way with words…

      • I am. In fits and spurs. There has been some health problems in my family in the last few months which have required some prioritizing on my part but I am slowly getting back to my so very neglected book. Not sure I will ever want through the “trauma” of looking for a publisher. Right now it is just for myself and the pleasure of writing. But I can’t wait for your second!

      • Fabulous! Just as it should be. That is exactly how I wrote mine, with no thought for publishing and I wish I had the ability to think like that now. My innocence has been spoiled 😦
        Wishing you many blissful hours!

  5. Oh yes, it means something all right 🙂 I love the way you describe the absolute imperative to write and keep on writing – write it until it’s done and then rewrite it over and over and then repeat. Life is good. Go, Jackie.

  6. I often wondered how you do it and whether you write ‘in your head’ when you’re out and about. It does sound exhausting but we, your lucky readers appreciate all your hard work. 🙂

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