Here I am, a psychological suspense writer, at a conference for psychotherapists, healers, counsellors and creative people – and together with them I am rummaging for reality.
This is very brief post in a spare hour before I go off to a workshop this afternoon. But already I feel I am working my way towards a new clarity and insight both into this life and into my new novel. One came this morning. It was very simple: only these words: “We are exploring different parts of the same reality at different stages of our lives.”
A few days before coming on this conference I was doing some of my own rummaging, through a file of newspaper clips which I’ve kept for about 3 decades now – just to see what jumped out at me in my current situation, a new work-in-progress before me.
And it was an article from the Sunday Times 10/5/92 written by the novelist Wendy Perriam called ‘Heaven Can Wait’. It was subtitled Do bad Catholics make good writers? And considered the fact that many great writers – e.g. Greene, Joyce, Spark, Waugh, O’Brien and Lodge – either lapsed, or struggling with their faith, poured out words as once they poured out prayers.
In this article Wendy Perriam says many things which touch me profoundly, despite the fact that I am not a Catholic, present or lapsed. I’ll quote just one point here, which I resonate with, and which shone out at me from my ‘rummaging’:
‘A sense of religion does give a depth and resonance to fiction, and if our characters have immortal souls, they’re surely more important, more valuable to their creator, than if they’re regarded as mere accumulations of vibrating molecules.’
Hopefully I may have some more insights from my rummaging to share with you in next week’s post!
2 thoughts on “Rummaging For Reality at the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick”
Looks like you’re having an interesting time and your point about the impact of religion on writing is very relevant.
I am very much looking forward to participating in the Writers’ Summer School in August at the same venue. It looks wonderful.
Glad you’re getting a lot out of the conference! Coincidentally, had just sent you an email about the modern Gothic and when I went back to Facebook, there you were!