How we come to writing

by janeeatonhamilton

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An essay by Amy Liptrot at the Guardian on her upcoming book THE OUTRUN; a meditation on writing and healing from alcoholism.

“Then, when I returned to Orkney, I began writing a column for the wonderful Caught by the River website, which has become a focus point for the renaissance in British “nature writing”. The columns – on subjects including ambergris from sperm whales, working on the farm at lambing time and watching meteor showers – all became chapters of the book. I began to link the new things I was learning about my environment to the changes going on inside myself. The fluid dynamics of breaking waves, the lonely call of the corncrake and the unexplained tremors that shake the coastline were all areas of interest in themselves yet also became metaphors. The world was opening up through learning and experience. The columns focused on the birds, the land and the sea, yet all contained a small mention of my own story and my recovery. The warm reception I had to these – from both friends and strangers – encouraged me to see if I could write a whole book.”