Writing a novel is an intensely personal, intimate experience. It's just you, your imagination and the magic of words. When you sit down to write and find yourself in the creative zone, you may experience timelessness, a feeling of flow, the sense of universal energy swirling around you - and the ability to draw strands of that energy down onto your page or screen, as required...
Sound a bit too esoteric for you? Well, keep writing, keep plodding on, and from time to time you will experience writerly flow. Promise. Don't expect it all the time, though. Mostly, writing a book is a mundane matter of forcing yourself to sit at your computer and write something. Anything. But if you do that, rewards come: the gold dust sometimes descends, making the boring, practical side of writing worthwhile.
As for that blank screen staring back at you while you try to construct an opening line: could there be any greater freedom available to anyone? There you are, poised to create a whole new world using words; a world that is a mental construct filled with sensations and scenes of peculiar significance to you.
And one of the bonus outcomes is the infinite number of ways your work will be interpreted. Each reader of your novel mirrors your creative writing process by using his or her imagination to conjure up the imagery and meaning provoked by your words, turning your book into something of unique significance to him or her. Which, I think, is creative and cool in itself.
Author Jonathan Lethem wrote in O magazine, '...one of the things that defines reading is its intimacy - which is what I love about it. Even if you have a train carriage full of people, all of them reading The Corrections, they'd each be on a different page. It's not like watching a movie; you're not having a collective experience.'
Here's to writing, to reading, and to the personal experience of words. (If you're ready to start writing right now, go to www.peacockproject.net and use the free Writer's Template.) Happy 2013.