Julie Anne Gilligan
WHY DO I WRITE?
Some people climb mountains because they are there. It is like that with my writing. I write because the words, the raw materials, the building blocks of the imagination are out there waiting. We spend our lives accumulating an enormous reservoir of knowledge and experience and it would seem wasteful not to use it in the best way possible. I write because I can, though I didn’t know I could until I reached 50. I didn’t have time or ability to make time before then.
Writing helps me articulate thoughts and emotions in a way that I sometimes find difficult in speech. By placing emotions into someone else’s persona and voice can help to clarify them and put them into perspective. Writing keeps my brain active and helps me pull into focus my place in the world physically, mentally and spiritually.
I rarely write directly about Parkinson’s but it emerges from time to time in different ways. I don’t like labels and I don’t suffer; if you tell yourself you are suffering it only feeds a victim mentality. I have lived with the condition so far for 24 years, but it has to put up with me too.
Why do I write? Because it has helped to make me the ‘me’ that I am and the ‘me’ that I might become. And if I can put a smile on someone’s face on the journey I will have done a good job.
The following paragraphs are extracts from my Ars Poetica, written as part of my Open University MA in Creative Writing.
I write because I believe that poetry: can unearth and express the extraordinary in the ordinary and vice versa; can change people, atmosphere, history, attitudes, politics, can give comfort in conflict or disaster, commemorate and witness; is the autobiography of an age, written by ghost-writers, a place and time peopled by imagination, illustrated with vignettes and visions.
I write because I see the poet as: a scavenger of words, phrases and observations, the gull snatching morsels of credibility from amongst the dross of experience; a facilitator, a signpost on a treasure map of many paths, small parcels of metanarrative, that ancient conundrum that fuels philosophers and flummoxes fools. ©2018, 2022 Julie Anne Gilligan
A short version was published in The Hoot. (OUSA online magazine)
The full version was published in ‘Red Letter Openings’ The OU Poetry Society 40th Anniversary anthology (2021)
Julie Anne Gilligan is the author of Time Matters (published on Ist June 2022)
This is a blog written by Dempsey & Windle poets about their inspiration for writing poetry