the tamago report

Eggs benedictated

Tag: tamago

What I Talk About When I Talk About Love

by secretsunday

I hate the letter ‘o’. It’s obnoxious. It’s fat and round. It’s awkward (noodle). But without it, there can be no love.

The subject of all our conversations, the pivotal element of Triple J overplayed pop songs, the silence on our lips, the word on our hips, as a writer you cannot not write about love.

Whatever your task at hand may be, a CV, a report, the last book to finishing a decalogy, it is the act of writing itself that is just fundamentally tender. It is bringing ideas into a tangible existence in a way that would give Dumbledore’s pensieve a run for its galleon. It is professional writing, where you dress your blubbering feelings into a suit and tie, presentable enough for your superior yet still professing that work is a duty that you care about. It is playing God, giving life to people, giving them jobs and then taking their clothes off at the end of the day. These are just some writing things among the many general things that you cannot achieve without love.

If people are your subject then writing is like sex. And just like that, I cannot tell you the one way to love while you write because there are many ways, many people, and far too many variables for love to become a science. But here’s some advice. Love that you are writing, it is your choices and actions that have led you to this moment. You are allowed to stop, but you have chosen to not stop. Love your audience, because you cannot write in a vacuum and even if you do they will tell you if you suck. Lastly love thyself, because sometimes writing just needs to be. And by be I mean you.

Why do I have this peculiar obsession with love? And why do I keep asking you what your love felt like. Because love to me, is the greatest feeling in the world. That when I go back to what it felt like, I get taken away to the top of a mountain that I’ve never been to before. That I feel so impossibly overwhelmed by the sights that I see and that which is hidden. Because I feel the sun is rising and setting at an incredible speed over Alph the river and those caverns measureless.

Even now as I try my hardest, it’s impossible to explain other than to think of a brand new day, and a brand new world starting afresh each morning that I awake. There is a giddiness to my knees, the exhilaration in my lungs and a feeling like my heart is about to burst. 

The Importance of Mentors

by MDY

Writing well didn’t come naturally to me. Any writer who tells you that it did – they’re lying. Writing needs other people, otherwise it’s just scribbles on a flat surface. So do writers.

My first mentors were my parents. They, for whom a simple missive would take hours to pen, wanted better for me. Every night when I was little, my mother would read to me while I lay in bed, filling my young and pliant skull with tales of heroes, monsters, and delicious irony. Whenever I wanted to go to the library – at least once a week, often more – they would bring me there and wait while I took my pick from the shelves: an alternate universe here, the end of the world there, and so on. I won a story-writing competition when I was 10 and my mother drove me to the winners’ workshop, waited hours for me to finish, and had her car rear-ended in the parking-lot while she did so. My parents gave all they could for a rather modest goal: that I grow up with the confidence in writing which they didn’t have. They taught me to love words.

I was lucky enough to have not one, but two esteemed authors who took me under their wings. The first was a prize-winning academic and writer of short stories, but he seemed much happier looking after the school library than attending awards ceremonies. When I wrote pieces – turgid short stories, pretentious poems, a heaving melodrama of a novel – he would always have time to read them and tell me what he thought. Even now when I proof my own work, I hear his voice commingled with my own. That sounds good. I like the metaphor, but does it fit? You’ve let it run on a bit, but trimming it here might get you started.

The second was a novelist and tyrant of the literati, whose criticism I came to fear. I would offer up manuscripts and he would snort them back at me weeks later, pockmarked with red ink and sarcasm. He was the destroyer of worlds, and to approach him was to face death by annotation. But he did so to make us stronger, and while many came away bitter and broken I vowed to keep on building. Together, both these men turned my desire to write into an ability, a weapon which I could wield with total and utter confidence. They taught me to command words.

My words serve many purposes, but I write them all with one person in mind. I don’t believe in inspiration, but I believe in support, and this friend never fails to remind me that she will always be my reader – even if nobody else will. She quotes to me the turns of phrase which affect her most; my rhyming couplets amuse her to no end. I think of her when I write because it’s a lot easier to write for one person than it is for a thousand, especially when that one person believes unswervingly in your ability. You can love words with your entire being, but they won’t love you back. She taught me that writing needs other people.

Writing well didn’t come naturally to me, but that’s okay. Good mentors teach you not only that everything you write matters, but that you do too.