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Guest Post: Emma Davies - The Wonderful World of Words

This week I'm delighted to welcome Emma Davies, author of Letting In Light and Merry Mistletoe to the blog.  Over to you Emma...

The Wonderful World of Words

Thank you so much for inviting me as a guest to your blog Elaina. It’s always hard to know what to post about, particularly when you have a new book out. You don’t want every post to be a slight variation on the last that people have seen countless times before. So, as we’re now in November and approaching the end of what, for me, has been a very momentous year, I thought I would take the opportunity to share some of my experiences from the year, or, what is essentially things I have learnt about the wonderful world of words.

The first thing I would like to share, in fact I want to underline it in thick black permanent Sharpie is the wonderful people that there are in this world of words. The bookish community has to be one of the most friendly, supportive and generous communities around. Everyone I’ve come across has been unfailingly polite, and hugely encouraging of my fledgling career. They have given of their time unstintingly, their praise copiously and their generosity by the bucket load. We have shared each other’s lows and celebrated each other’s successes, and as someone very much wiser than me said; ‘There’s no point in being jealous of any one else’s success as nobody ever reads just one book. There is room for all of us, and all of our books.’ It’s certainly a sentiment that people seem to have taken to their hearts. And as for book bloggers, well don’t get me started … there’s a whole blog post available for you guys. I know you get free books to read, but seriously you are a very special breed indeed, and it’s enough for me to hope that you know how much you are loved and appreciated.

The second thing I’ve learned, and this is a very personal thing, (but I’m sure experienced by many) is what happens when you open the writing floodgates. Like many, I’ve been writing for years, but it was just that thing I did from time to time, you know a bit of a hobby, like knitting; something I could pick up and put down whenever I wanted. And the reason for this? – Well, I was busy; forging a career, getting married, having babies, etc. etc. etc. but bizarrely throughout all this time I know I always had an accompanying little voice at my shoulder whispering ‘Don’t open the gates, not the whole way, just open them a little bit so that only a trickle can come out, but don’t whatever you do open them the whole way, because if you do … And so I didn’t, I never surrendered myself to my writing because I knew that it would consume me and for one reason or another it just wasn’t the right time to do that. And now it is … and I totally understand why getting dressed, eating, doing the housework, or actually talking to people is suddenly something I have to remind myself to do. It’s a strange kind of twilight zone existence, but one I’ve waited a very long time to experience. In any case my kids think it’s quite cool, but only because I’m not ‘normal’ any more ….

I also love the way my whole perspective on things has changed. I see everything in terms of words on a page; is there a plot in that? Would that make a good setting? and I watch people for character traits far more than is probably good for me, in fact I might get arrested soon … My mind is constantly adrift in a sea of possibilities, but I so enjoy this plotting and planning, this playing with ideas and scenes, the perfect first line, or the plot twist no-one will see coming. This world of words is just so wonderfully big. Impressive words, little words, common words, or downright tongue teasingly good words, but my very favourite words are potential words, for potential words are very powerful words indeed.

Lastly no self-respecting post about things I’ve learnt as a writer would be complete within reference to the one important thing that we all seem to share, and that is our complete fetish for notebooks, or in fact stationery of any sort – seriously, do you want to see the photos? I bet you do …