Recently one of my friends asked her Facebook friends to tell her who or what do they think is a writer’s best friend. I think it depends what you are writing. When I am writing poetry everything is a friend, from nature, birds, seasons, images that I see, thoughts that come to my mind, experiences both good and bad will write a poem. Somehow the flow co-operates when writing poetry and a poem can be born merely out of one’s everyday life. Often sadness is a writer’s best friend when writing a poem; some of the best poems end up being written from the places of anguish and pain. The ability to write out of despair speaks of the resilience of the human spirit, as if one is looking for diamonds in experiences that are otherwise full of dirt and often make no sense. Instead of being crushed with it, we transform it into poetry (at least we try to). After sadness it is love that creates most profound lines. Love leads us to areas in our soul that we never knew existed, and they nourish us with wisdom and new found treasures that we keep finding in the depths of our hearts.
When I am writing something other than poetry, especially if it is a research or academic article, then it seems that the coin is turned on its head and everything becomes an enemy. Or rather, everything turns into being a false lover trying to stop me from writing. The flow is a good friend in any writing situation, but one cannot rely on the flow during research. Instead what one needs is discipline and anything else will try and take us away from writing.
A few days ago I had to do exactly that, write an article, and my mind was excited about every little thing on earth. While that felt good, it was not helpful for writing. My mind was like a butterfly that was flying from flower to flower, being excited with the sunshine and getting lost along the way, while I needed it to calm down. I needed a butterfly to fly on the top of my hand and rest a while, which would help me focus. Until that happened, I don’t think that many things were ‘friends’ to my writing.
© Iva Beranek (Laois, 5th June 2016)
Photo by © Iva Beranek