Lockdown is finally coming to a close, and a long time of being stuck inside has taken its toll. We’ve become unbalanced; focussing only on what’s immediately in front of us over what may be further afield. It’s worth, to my mind, looking at what we can do to remedy that.
Over lockdown, we saw many changes in nature, now that we weren’t there to interact with it. We saw animals return to places we never thought they belonged, and plants reclaim the world one step at a time. It’s important to follow suit and reclaim our nature. My question is what can we do to follow that pattern?
The answer; wild writing.
What is wild writing?
An important question. The answer is, as with all things creative, up to interpretation.
The definition of wild is living in a state of nature, not tamed or domesticated. So, wild writing is a reflection of our untamed self and how we use that to interact with the world around us. If we use this interpretation, wild writing is writing anywhere and in any place. The practice only requires the will to write what you feel.
Helen Moore describes it as; “stemming primarily from a desire to respond to the social and ecological crises … by building a relationship with other-than-human Nature.” I would read that as the idea that patterns in nature reflect modern life. This idea is one we, as humans, have held for hundreds of years and is always worth looking back to, with a little time.
Others describe it as a combination of science and literature, or nature and humanity. Others still may choose to define it as the extension of nature and creativity. Each is a valid interpretation. Whatever you choose, that in itself is a form of wild writing.
So to answer; wild writing is an observation of any natural environment and how it affects us. It’s not about looking at nature, but what it means.
So why is it important?
Well, to answer that I’d need to ask you the same question. When it comes to writing, its importance is only as much as you let it be. For me, I’d argue it’s key, which is why I’m writing about it here, but I’ll give a few points about why.
First would be that in order for us to move forward, we first have to look back. We could believe our urban world is everything, but it’s important to stop and think about how it got here. In nature, we see patterns that reflect humanity, but it should be patterns in us that reflect nature. If we observe nature we can learn new patterns for the future.
I would also say that it helps us understand the effect we have on other people. It’s easy to go through your day thinking you’re not affecting anyone, but usually, that’s not the case. If we take the time to think about how an environment affects us, we can take the time to see how we affect it as well.
And third, would be that it’s always worth taking a breather. Our lives are always in motion, going from point a to point b while thinking about point c. Usually, we don’t realise what it’s doing to us. Instead, it’s important to make time to sit, watch and listen, you’ll notice the health benefits soon enough.
Where to do wild writing?
Ah, well I’m glad you asked. All you need is a place in nature, a pad and a pencil, but that’s not always the easiest place to start. That’s why I’d recommend taking the opportunity to meet other people in the same boat as you. After all, writing, and wild writing, takes inspiration from what’s around you.
The best place though, I find, is a wide-open space away from the noise of urban life. Anywhere where there’s more green than grey is always a good place to start. Here, in places like this, you slip into a state of the wild naturally.
Hawkwood’s environment is the perfect place to take a moment for wild writing. Here you can experience the world with a breath of fresh air alongside similar people.
Will Tuckett studied writing at Bath Spa University. During that time he explored writing for a range of platforms and forms of interaction. Following that he went to Stockholm University to study Teaching and Literature. While starting in script, he moved to write for digital media and specialises in long-form. Will is now part of Hawkwood’s Marketing Department!