The Writing Trance

The Writing Trance
Image: Eye Make Art

I chanced my arm on a whim and logged into my account at the St. Mirren ticket office over lunch yesterday. Lo-and-behold the cup final tickets were available early for non-season ticket holders!!

I got two briefs for the League cup final against Rangers on March 21st, Block G, right behind the goals in the centre. It’s going to be a great day that one—great week in actual fact because I’m going to see Stiff Little Fingers four days before it.

Luke Wright wrote a memorable poem—as so many of his are—on the hop before he appeared on Saturday Live last week. He published it yesterday in his newsletter and it’s also on his website; entitled Three Children it’s a startling piece about the James Bulger affair. Read the poem here.

The reason I mention is because quite often while writing poetry the best lines seem to come when you aren’t really thinking about them, but more when you allow yourself to be open and spill out what comes into your head and onto the page in a single action. It’s almost trance-like; you get caught in a thought and the pen almost runs away with itself. It’s happened a few times with me, the most memorable with poems like River Monkeys, Lost Tears and Disposable Pens being the ones that spring immediately to mind.

Various things can promote this state of mind and creative swirl—time pressure is one of them, that moment when you realise you can procrastinate no longer and the deadline is so near it’s scary.

Intense emotion can bring it on; a fight with a loved one, a death in the family, the birth of a child—anything that creates that heightened sensitivity in a human soul does so at the price that it rises to the surface and sometimes falls off onto the page.

Very occasionally a wee drop of alcohol is good for helping but not too much. Drunk writing isn’t a good thing and it’s actually quite hard if you’re trying to do it on a PC. Long-hand and it’s very probable you won’t even be able to read it the next morning!

Very often I’ve found there is rarely any major editing to be done after a “trance poem” hits the page. I wish I could achieve it more often—maybe there’s a secret?

Whatever way it comes, as a writer it’s always good when it does. These are the most pleasurable moments one can experience while writing anything, let alone poetry.

I spent half of last night trying to catch the male Kribensis in my fish tank. I’d pulled out half the plants by the time I’d got hold of the little blighter. If you haven’t guessed already it’s because he and his randy partner have had another brace of about 50 little fry, and to protect them he spends his time trying to kill everyone else in the tank. No way, amigo! So out he came and into a net. He’s still in the tank—just not able to hurt anyone until the paternal phase is over with.

Not much writing done as I was so tired after work, but I wasted not as I took time out to catch up on some reading. I’ve got more than one book going at the moment: one fiction, one auto-biographical and one non-fiction. All good stuff.

Peace and out!

The Ranfurly Review – FREE to download – OUT NOW

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About Colin Galbraith

Keen runner, thriller author, Madness fan, Mets fan, St Mirren fan/owner, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannolis & espressos. #LFGM
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