There’s a logic to how Marian organises her latest book – Making It Up As I Go Along, which I think goes something like this – blow the logic, let’s just write some stuff down and send it off to the publisher. Actually, no – that’s not really fair. I’m sure that a lot of thought went into this book. The charm of it is that it just appears to be off the top of her head and thoughtless.
I only realised that the book was Creative Nonfiction (CNF) yesterday. I’ve been listening to it on audiobook now since the 13th of October – when the nights started getting dark again and there wasn’t enough light to read a proper book by. The reason I mention CNF is that I’m doing a module on it for my Masters in Creative Writing.
So picture this – I’m working my way through this CNF module and I’m thinking to myself – I have no idea what this subject is about because I don’t ever read this kind of stuff. What kind of fool am I?
So now that I know what’s what, I’m watching how Marian does it. Watching and learning.
It seems to me that her main focus is on being honest. That, and being self-depreciating. Oh, and she’s very loving towards the people and things she writes about. Those things, to me, are at the core of her popularity. If I want to get anywhere with my own writing, then I need to keep sidling quietly up to Marian and peeking over her shoulder.
I understand that each ‘article’ in the book comes from stuff she previously published in magazines and newspapers and that this volume collects them together, organises them by theme and presents them for our delectation. Some of the articles are quite long and so have their own story arc, but most of them are shorter and are essentially Marian’s thoughts on a particular subject.
I wasn’t at all interested at first, because it was all about makeup, clothes and stuff like that. But as it went on, I got to like her voice. She has an engaging style and is very revealing about her thoughts and the people around her. I would find it hard to write with as much candour as she manages, but she pulls it off because she has so much of good wishes and love for the people she writes about. Heck, she even loves herself at times!
I think that I need to put more affection into what I write about others. At the moment, I find myself hesitating because I think too hard about what people might think when they read what I say about them. But if I can find the love I have for my fellow travellers and then chronicle their lives through this feeling, I might just be able to pull this off.
So there you have it – my thoughts about Marian and the way she writes. I hope you find much joy in them and in yourself.