Dear Reader Who Writes,
I will admit to having sipped on a small soupcon of eggnog over the festivities and today I was less than delighted to find Mumsie glaring at me over the breakfast table with something between pity and incredulity. “Gods Moons! How can you get to be so old and not know how to deal with a hangover?” She pushed her glass over to me. its interesting aroma of bath salts and battery-acid curling the hairs on the inside of my nasal cavities. Mummy was without mercy. “Stop pulling a face and drink it. Hair of the dog.”
The flavour was indeed not unakin to canine fur, if it had been marinaded in fecal matter and turpentine. However, maternal wisdom won through and having consumed her panacea I am now sitting sprightly in my writing cave and able to share with you the hard-won fruits of my years as a writer-in-waiting. But now, dear RWW, it is you who are the bridesmaid and I the gushing bridegroom of the Muses.
So, to business. The new year is upon us and it behoves us all to pay heed to the ancient traditions of this especial time. No, I do not mean carrying a black cat over your shoulder backwards across the threshold of your house, or hailing your neighbour with gibberish at midnight, or singing Scottish songs about those acquaintances from the past you most certainly do want to forget. No. I mean the important tradition of making a New Year’s Resolution for your literary year ahead.
It needs to be something that encapsulates in a single intention all your writing aspirations and plans for the forthcoming twelve months. When deciding what is fitting, be not modest or parsimonious about your talent. Set yourself the greatest goal you can imagine, scale the heights of ambition, unleash the inner yearning to follow your dreams and commit yourself to that and that alone.
I will keep to myself my own resolution for the coming year as it might undermine the determination you bring to your own or even lead you astray from your petty path in some vain attempt to mimic mine. But here are a few I consider might be fitting for you, my students.
- Resolve to study all of The Thinking Quill lessons.
- Begin writing a novella.
- Complete a haiku.
- Peruse A-G in a thesaurus.
- Purchase and read “Fatswhistle and Buchtooth” by Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV.
- Buy some pens with glittery pastel-coloured ink so your writing looks like unicorn faeces. This will add magic to those moments when you look in blank incomprehension at the notes you wrote in the depths of the night.
- Start each morning with a free dance expressing the joy of being alive.
- Take up yoga or pilates – whichever you did not plan to do last year but never started.
Choose well and be sure to keep it, disciple, that way lies the path to true authorship.
Happy New Year!
You can find more of IVy's profound advice in How To Start Writing A Book, the worst ever 'how to write' book. Read IVy's advice with editorial comments on each blog piece by his mother, Jacintha. All courtesy of E.M. Swift-Hook and Jane Jago.