WRITING :: Words

My main Twitter account is, 95% of the time, gaming-based. However, of late, my love of writing has begun to creep in. The main reason for this is Ian McMillan, whose account I follow after he appeared on BBC 6 Music late last year. He uses Twitter the way we all do: going to work, talking about his projects, describing what he sees. But, as a writer? That view isn’t the same as a lot of others. His grasp of language is often breathtakingly brilliant in its simplicity, and that’s why I find myself compelled not simply to follow, but to reach out to respond when he says stuff like the Tweet above.

The man makes me think, no doubt about it. North to me is a lot of things: Guy Garvey’s aural pictures of his home, Richard Hawley, L.S. Lowry, flat caps, Open All Hours, Geoff Boycott… but that’s very specific bits of the North, and far more stereotypical than actual. It also excludes large swathes of the Midlands that could be North, the bit between Yorkshire and Scotland which is DEFINITELY North… and here’s the problem. Individual perception is a bitch. I see it ever day with gamers who only take their view of issues and forget that, like it or not, not everybody is them. So, you need not only a cohesive frame of reference, but for everyone to have it in their mind when considering your view.

Oh and don’t then get me started on geography.

The reason why you follow people via Social media is undoubtedly subjective too, and in McMillan’s case he’s proved a consistent source of literary inspiration. After this exchange, I had a minor epiphany: I don’t think of people just as a face and a name, I tend to attach objects to people to help identify them. My best mate Julia, for instance, is a number of colours (green, red) as well as cigarettes and shoes (probably because she’s a dancer.) As for myself?

But that’s only how I see myself. I have no idea how the rest of the World perceives me.

I’d be interested to know what words they use.