In this recent series of posts – ‘Writing for Love or Money’ I wanted to explore what motivates writers to write, how money can be made from writing even without a traditional publishing contract – and to discover if money is ever the main motive. As part of the series I have invited several authors to contribute a guest post on what motivates them. The contributors write very different things and for different reasons. I hope you enjoy discovering more about all of these talented writers.
This is the fourth guest post and it comes from Andy Harrod. I first came across Andy’s work when visiting a virtual exhibition at Dan Holloway’s Eight Cuts Gallery http://danholloway.wordpress.com/eight-cuts-gallery/ and Andy was a contributor. (Dan will also be doing a guest post in this series). I particularly love Andy’s book ‘Living Room Stories’ and reviewed it here.
THANK YOU ANDY!
Never about the Money
by Andy Harrod
I began writing not because of books but due to music, for when I immerse myself in the lyrics they act as a springboard for me to connect with disparate parts of myself, bringing feelings and thoughts together. Of late I have been able to do the same with instrumental music, to drift closer to what I am feeling. Through this I began slowly to unravel myself and my love affair with writing began.
Writing ever since has been a case of capturing those sensations on my edge of awareness and what it means to me to be alive and true to myself. It is not an easy ride, it certainly doesn’t make money, but it is about love. Love for myself and for others. My writing is focused on me, I don’t think of an audience, only what I wish to understand about my thoughts and feelings to help myself and how I relate to other people. Often my writing focuses on emotions to develop an idea, present a perspective, which I hope I leave hanging on the page for the reader to play with.
My writing can therefore be seen as a selfish act or perhaps a selfless one, depending on your view of what it means to be individual. I see a world of individuals as a beautiful thing, with each of us fulfilling what it means to be us. The selfish view comes in through the belief that by allowing(!) people to do what they want there would be no community, but the community I see around me is almost non-existent and shattered as we play out the roles given/inherited. Through this I don’t see contentment, but I do see a comfortable boredom and resentment within a much divided society.
So what does this tangent have to do with the love of writing? That to enjoy writing I believe you need a connection with what you are writing about and a passion for it. It doesn’t matter what other people think, it matters what you think, though tell my self-critic that! Therefore I very much believe in writing for yourself and not for others or what may be in fashion at the time. Through this I have come to develop my own voice and style and I am truly happy with where I find myself.
My latest book, tearing at thoughts (http://79ratpress.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/our-contributors/), a collection of writing, art and photography, is the accumulation of my unravelling. I think of tearing at thoughts as an album, each piece works separately, but together they layer and resonate the unspoken and the lost. It leaves me feeling exposed, as if I have laid bare my sense of self through a group of fictional characters as I attempt to bring the hidden and pushed aside into focus, through the hope that if it is brought into awareness, change may occur. I finally believe in my writing voice and I won’t allow it to be corrupted by paper lies. Of course it would be great to make a living from my writing, but I would never want it to control what I write. I would rather feel exposed. For the genuine, heartfelt and thoughtful comments I have received is the reward I want, and to be honest, the reward I have sought since I started writing.
Andy Harrod is a writer, who writes not out of a desire to tell stories, but a need to understand, to find meaning and connect with self and life. Outside of writing Andy is a trainee person-centred therapist and runs the streets of Lancaster, one day soon the fells of the Lake District.
Living Room Stories was Andy’s first release, handmade (http://decodingstatic.blogspot.co.uk/p/living-room-stories.html) and kindle (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Living-Room-Stories-ebook/dp/B008HSMGGI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341573814&sr=1-1) editions are available.
tearing at thoughts is to be published by 79 rat press as part of their NOTHING TO SAY (http://79ratpress.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/our-contributors/) exhibition, available to buy from June 2013.
BLOG: Andy posts stories, photos, art and thoughts at Decoding Static (http://decodingstatic.blogspot.co.uk/).
TWITTER: Say hello at @DecodingStatic (http://twitter.com/DecodingStatic)