Alan Alexander Milne was a very wise man. I’ll go further; he was a Very Wise Man indeed. You might choose to agree, or not, but I stand by my assessment. Having recently had the pleasure of rereading both Winnie The Pooh and The House At Pooh Corner with my daughter, it ocurred to me to wonder whether – in terms of writing, or I suppose, in the run of things generally – I am more of a Rabbit, or a Pooh. I know – despite my unwelcome perennial capacity for depression – that I am NOT an Eeyore. Pooh is a placid, calm sort; he waits for things – especially hums and singy-ness, and ideas – to come to him. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t – you never can tell – and he is happily humble in what he is pleased to call his lack of brain. Rabbit on the other hand is very captainish; he likes to be organised – or rather, he likes to organise other people – and never waits for anything if he can go and fetch it. He has brain, but he doesn’t really understand things, or not in the way that Pooh does. Truthfully, I am inclined towards a state of being Pooh, although I know that being a bit more like Rabbit would be beneficial in terms of actually getting things done. But then other people who are terribly Rabbit-ish tend to drive me up the wall – there is a vast amount of control freakery in people who always want to organise other people just so that they (Rabbit) can feel important. That is not who I am.
Still, in my own meandering dilettantish way, I have at least learned not to be a hostage to my muse; there’s always to something to write, or to write about, even if it isn’t what I might have originally planned, or thought it would be. And thankfully that bastard Writer’s Block hasn’t muscled its way through my brain to sit at the front, flick popcorn at my inner cinema screen and make loud and unhelpful remarks. (Although my Inner Editor has just drawn in a sharp breath at the previous sentence and is now sucking its teeth.) Paul Simon summed it up so perfectly: ‘You want to be a writer? Don’t know how, or when? Find a quiet place, use a humble pen.’ (From the album You’re The One… I think the track was called Hurricane Eye.)
Today is one of those days where I’d really like to not have to DO anything, but instead be in London wandering around the museums, waiting to be ambushed by new insights, new ideas, and learn random new things that I never thought I might need to know.
On second thoughts, perhaps I’m Owl, instead…