how to become a writer in two easy steps

Once, on the other side of time, there lived a girl in a house that was too big for its britches. Four of the rooms held furniture; the rest were empty, waiting for a windfall or wage increase or extra children, so that there might be more furniture and more need for a small family to live in such a big place.

The girl was strange, and some may say the empty rooms were what made her so. All that space and silence. But the rooms weren't really empty, and she could see that. They bulged with memories, dreams, lost whispers, forgotten words. They were soaked with rainshadows that left sea-story stains all over the walls. The girl was strange because she recognised this fullness. (Or perhaps everyone else was strange because they didn't.)

The girl didn't have many friends, mainly because she wanted them, and children sense that. They use it. And the ones who are too gentle to do so generally aren't around - they're reading books in some isolated corner, or drifting alone through uncivilised light and shadow at the edge of the playground. So the girl read books too, and found wild edges, and grew quiet.

And the quieter she grew, the more she heard the stories in empty rooms and inbetween places.

But the thing about quiet is that it seeds a deep and lovely song in the heart. And the thing about aloneness is that it allows for friendships with trees, wildflowers, breezes, birds. And from these things, art grows.

A quiet kind of art, gently wild.

I believe art is an act of sympathy. Perhaps that is why I don't like much modern literature, but read instead fantasy, and fairy tales, and old small sad poetry - the edgeworks and murmurworks that connect with silences, with long-travelled winds coming to rest in lonely places, and with the dreams of ghosts.

* Like all writing, this post is not necessarily, completely, autobiographical. 


  1. This is a sad and inspiring story at the same time :) I can feel some of that girl's loneliness and longing for friendship, but I can also feel how the aloneness and enjoying the experiences that come with it make her a deep and gentle soul. Beautifully written!

    Have an amazing day!

  2. What a touching story this is. Sometimes, hard circumstances bring about incredible beauty.

  3. It's interesting how people see things differently. This doesn't feel like a sad story to me, but then I'm an introvert, not really a people person at all (except for the people I love), so for me there's no great sorrow in finding friendship in nature and the empty spaces. And I guess I'm not as afraid of longing and of aloneness as I ought to be. I can understand though how most people would find it sad, and how the girl would too.

  4. Wonderful! It made me almost tearful when you describe the empty rooms filled with memories. I think I'm still suffering empty nest syndrome even though I still have one last baby left! xx

  5. I really, really like this..the idea of art as an act of sympathy. It often seems to me that much modern art lacked feeling, lacked heart, and yes, lacks sympathy. As if it were more about ego or noise. Although maybe it's just empty and/or angry, which is a not. Irrational reaction to our modern world? All that concrete and rushing and noise, and a daily barrage of dreadful news...

    I also can identify with the girl who chose to wander the wild edges and read books. If sad, it was a very gentle form of sadness? I think more wistful, in that observer's or introvert's way; or in that "hiraeth" way of longing for a place and way of being that one isn't even sure exists.

    1. Yes to all of this! Yes especially to "wistful" and "hiraeth". :-)

  6. ahhh, those empty rooms. the possibilities.

  7. This is so very beautiful, Sarah. Also, I love the new look of your darling blog. <3

  8. Thank you all for your lovely comments.

  9. Your heart always speaks to mine dear sarah! What a wonderful gem you are. Thank you for this lovely insight into yourself. Your blog is as beautiful as you are!
    wishing nothing but wonder for you in 2016.

  10. I love this post. It makes me want to be sit very quietly, and listen to the secret whispers of things.