Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter


Day 206

When I checked the word count of this blog yesterday (and I’ve forgotten to say that much of Saturday was taken up with copying and pasting everything that I’d written on here in Crete to the master file of it on my machine), I was astounded to see I’d written over 211k words since I started on 1st January, including Aggie. Quite a revelation, and proof that doing a little every day does add up to quite a lot (and proving once again that old proverbs are the truth – “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves” springs to mind). Yes, I have neglected The Mortality Code, but I haven’t neglected writing – and last year I really did neglect it, didn’t write every day, had arrived at a point where I thought I couldn’t honestly call myself a writer any more.

Yes, I probably work less than I did last year, but those five hours or so a week are hours that were above and beyond anyway. Yes, and this is me being defensive to myself and of myself, I probably overshare some stuff (but a huge amount of self-censorship remains), and what I would say, to myself and to those reading, is that whatever I say is just recounting the facts of how I feel on any given day rather than a self-pitying whinge. Revealing so much of my private self in public is meant to encourage others to do the same (we still don’t talk about poor mental health enough), and to find some sort of therapy through writing of themselves for themselves and for anyone who will read it. It’s at the very least a start for those who may not know where to begin.

And, for me, the thing is, it’s made me write. Not as in forced me to write (although some days I find it very difficult to even start on a blank page and fill it), but as in encouraged me to write, because what’s on here is only some of the writing I’ve been doing this year. And words and plots and poems and formulations now suffuse my being in a way I thought was almost impossible. And I’m working on another song with Marina Florance, the first draft mix of which I heard yesterday, and played to M, and cried at the beauteous shape my words were being turned into, just plain simple words, just grown from the seed of an idea from Marina, and worked on over and over until they were right for her (and her collaborator) to sing. This is what writing is, a joyous (and sometimes heart-breaking, and often laborious) outpouring of meaning, because that’s what it is, an attempt to create meaning and truth through putting one word after the other to fashion them into something understandable.

I did want to publish The Mortality Code this year, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen. I do have another completed novel up my sleeve, though, which I may decide to spend time on filing into shape and getting out in time for Christmas. A final hurrah for the old village, perhaps, and a thank you for all the years of sanctuary and cricket it gave me. Only perhaps, though. It is a very personal novel that only M and my therapist have read so far. We shall see. Yes, we shall see.




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