After working for about fourteen years on The Hood of Aalayfa and the subsequent novels, I ended up being thrust into a grand love affair that was not of my own making. Embroiled with such fervour with my creation, I waited long before forces from beyond had to coerce me into unveiling myself which I am reluctant to do. So here I am, tunnelling into the core of the earth, comfortable in the skins of my story, like paper wings on my back.
I admit that I have procrastinated in writing about my writing because we hear of so many writers blogging, writing, speculating on their creations but few realize that whatever is focused on is what one ultimately draws into their reality. To be honest, I could not possibly care less who reads my novel or not, as it was for me a very private dance into the unknown, which I face yet again as I begin this blog.
When I first started the process of writing novels, my biggest issues were basic: a laptop, a comfortable place, financial support and most importantly discipline, which is very hard indeed when you have to sit down and write in a house full of distractions and people who sometimes don’t understand the energetic investment and the hard work involved. Suddenly you remember that you have a thousand other things to do.
Working around my low paying job as a receptionist, I wrote feverishly in those wonderful chains like Starbucks and Costa Coffee which people complain about, but for those cafes, I am eternally grateful. The listless looks, the bored expressions, the lack of interest, the indifference of baristas ignoring me and my endless typing was nothing but sheer joy for me. Ignore me, I prayed. Get away from the computer sockets, I silently pleaded with other customers.
Of course, anything you do which is creative is always being channelled from the spirit and really, it is a matter allowing the flow of ideas that emerge from the creative mind without resisting. Saying that, I am the first one to admit that writing for six to eight hours every day and balancing work and having a life is the hardest thing and it is true that my social life suffered but in the end, I didn’t care. Focusing on the creative process where I wove words into a joyful quilt, intense awareness began to open me into a greater understanding of myself and suddenly the internal world cracked open.
Like pieces of a puzzle that began to fall into place, I was able to leave the ordinary world where magic certainly exists if one has the eye and the inclination. The question is only whether one is open to a greater version of themselves or if one is stuck in ridiculous definitions that come about through imposition. While writing is not for everyone, it is an individual process which invites us to chase ourselves, to comb through the intricacies of this universe which is after all our own collective creation.
I admit that I have become very comfortable in obscurity, relishing those strange moments when words tumble into my mind, images construct themselves, sentences flow out of my fingers until I become an open flowing vessel. I stare blankly out into the busy city where nobody can see what is happening internally: this utter emerging of the inner world happening while the external world shrinks away with its ordinariness; and suddenly you are seeing things differently, not engaged anymore with the old and boring. Windows open in breathless whispers inviting you into new perspectives.
And so I trek back into my favourite coffee chain to watch the shadows of twilight fall on the people of London, a city which has supported me energetically since I swept in so many years ago from nowhere. I am watching the autumn winds swoop into London again, carrying the scent of imminent desire, and I am inspired by the flows of energy, the descending darkness which no longer represents to me the promise of winter death as I felt so strongly living in Canada.
Like the goddess Inanna who descended into the depths of the darkness, I emerge from obscurity like the vehement moon across the horizon; for Inanna cannot descend into the world below without heeding the call of the world above, calling for her to rise, and so she does, carrying with her the secrets imparted to her by that which guides her from the world above.