There’s a fight going on between my musician and my writer selves. Always the wrangling. My artist self is smaller and not as strong. The other two dominate. Musician self is an outright bully. Writer self likes peace and quiet and although driven, is satisfied when a piece of work is complete. Musician is a maniac that doesn’t want to stop until my eyeballs are bloodshot and my back is breaking. For musician self there is no end point. Creating just leads to more desire. I have to shut her out sometimes because if she gets even a foot in the door, before I know it, she has taken over and the hours whiz by while all around me plummets into chaos. I have been known to shut her out for months, even years. She’s too demanding. She has taken years of my life, and years off my sleep.
Writer self is more patient. Although she may inconveniently propose entire pieces of work at the most awkward moments—walking through town, or in the shower— and she forgets it if I don’t get it written down straight away, or loses the flow, remembering only fragments, if I ask her to wait and hold back her words, just hanging on to a keyword like a knot in a hanky, we can wait until I can stop and write. Then I give her permission to speak and it all comes out. There is a downside to her being so easily satisfied. She can be a little lazy, and a little quiet to speak up when other voices are clamouring for my attention. It is necessary to give her space, and quality time together, just the two of us. Musician self doesn’t need this kind of support because she just slams the door and stamps around when she really needs to be heard.
Musician and writer have been known to collaborate. They can inspire each other with their ideas. At this point artist might shyly step in and ask if she can do some cover art. Artist also likes to do photography, which writer finds helpful, and they may publish stuff together. Occasionally artist may do a little drawing, but this usually only happens when the other two are so burnt out that they’re both laid up, having a metaphorical lie in of major proportions. Drawing is soothing and relaxing. There is no screaming—of words or music—just a peaceful meditation on the subject. My drawing skills fall short of my imagination so it’s not long before writer or musician wake up and get the kettle on. Then we’re back to frantic typing and screaming in the kitchen. Hey ho.
© Janey Colbourne 2017