Monday, 31 May 2010


A few years ago the image in my mind of a 'writer' was very different to what I know now is the reality. The term 'writer' conjured up images of myself sitting at a writing desk made of wood, by a window, in the glow of the sun as I frantically scribbled away.

(painting on left - "I am half sick of shadows", said the Lady of Shalott by J W Waterhouse)

The reality I know is very different. My desk made of chipboard, sits on the opposite side of the room to the window, and is mainly used as a dressing table. I sit on my bed in the corner with my laptop resting on my knee, as I type away.

Another image that often came to me when I heard the term writer was of fields of wildflowers, wearing a long flowing dress as I sat and wrote great works in long hand with paper, a quill and an ink pot. Romantic stuff huh?

(painting on right - Ophelia by J W Waterhouse)

Again reality bites. Long flowing dresses make me look even shorter than I am. Fields of flowers bring on my hay fever with a vengeance. And I cannot write for very long in long hand. The longer I write the faster I write. The faster I write the more illegible my handwriting the point that I cannot read it myself. And then my wrist begins to ache.

So reality sees me dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, filling myself up with hay fever remedies, whilst scribbling the odd note down in a notebook until I can get to my laptop to actually 'write' anything of any length.

On an entirely different note - the paintings I have used to illustrate this post are by one of my favourite artists - J W Waterhouse. I love not only his style but also his subjects. You may be forgiven for thinking he painted in the mid nineteenth century alongside the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. However he did in fact paint later than them, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, having been born in 1849, around the time that the first Pre-Raphaelite exhibition began. I was very dismayed to hear about the exhibition of Waterhouse's work last year, on account of the fact that I found out about it just after it had finished.

No comments: