A Writer's Process: George Tardios

George Tardios 

George Tardios 

Beginning is the worst part. Once I begin writing onto a blank sheet of paper, I have broken the frozen-mold, and all should then hopefully flow. Subsequent ideas cannot be apparent unless I put down the first, however clumsy it may appear.

The surprise then is that my imagination is loosed, and ideas rain down thick and fast, but they seem to be coming from another source! I am adamant that whatever I write doesn't come from me. I am merely a conduit. Thankfully, I have been chosen to have amazing words channelled through me by some other creative source.

Recently completing 'Buttoned-Up Shapes', a book of poems, I initially felt that my ancestors were banging me on the head, saying "We want to be recorded. To know that our words and deeds exist". So, I put down whatever came into my head. I'm sure they were carefully dictating.

The difficulty then is to keep this up, which means you have to make the effort to daily choose a space at a certain time and keep to it for a certain number of hours. In Cyprus this summer I wrote a book 'Stanley's Footsteps'. I woke at six am every morning and worked for six to seven hours.

At the end of the day, before going to swim in the sea (thank God) I felt unreal, my balance was unsteady, my wife would have to gently guide me, I was discombobulated! Yet I would have to keep it up next day and the day after that if I wanted to receive further information to finish the book.

Ted Hughes used to every morning, without fail, walk to his garden hut armed with a kettle of hot water for tea/coffee, and sit there for hours, whether he wrote or not. He believed in 'discipline'.