The ground begins to thaw and there are only piles of grey snow in the places the snowploughs have gathered it, the sea ice melts and I make a pilgrimage with my father. We’ve been doing this as long as I remember and will probably keep the tradition as long as there’s ink on our brains.
My dad and I have this shared delusion. We think we can write. And so we do. We string words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs. Eventually these form stories. Our styles and subject matters are very different but the fruit of out labour ends up in the same place. A bonfire.
I think I’ve inherited my writing delusion from my dad. I don’t just love the process and result of writing, I also love the process after it. My dad writes a story, perfects it, sends it to a publisher, they send it back and then we burn it. I haven’t yet gone as far as sending anything to a publisher (though I’m getting there), but I add the drafts I’ve made and discarded to the pile.
Growing up with this kind of tradition has given me one advantage to many other writers: I don’t have delusions of publishing.