Today I wrote my Daily Pages in my writing shed – I’ve not been able to use if for months partly because of the weather but mainly because one of the windows was smashed. At the weekend P replaced the smashed and hazy plastic pane with a piece of beautifully clear glass. Now I can see one of the cooking apple trees and the pink American Pillar climbing rose. It’s all rather overgrown in the garden at the moment – pieces of trellis need replacing, the grass needs cutting, weeds need to be pulled and soon it’ll be time to plant new perennials and to hope that they survive the winter.
All sounds rather like my writing these days – so overgrown with other stuff from life, unfocused and in desperate need of close attention. I’ve made a start on both the garden and the writing though, so it’s not all bad.
I wrote long-hand today for one hour. Most, if not all of it, is jumbled rubbish. No real attempt at a story or any definite ideas. Instead I thought about routines and rituals. Each day when I’m working from home I like to drink coffee at about 10am. I have a definite ritual for this – I won’t drink coffee with breakfast, that has to be orange juice and fruit tea (cranberry and raspberry). The ritual involves certain mugs, particular teaspoons and ideally a giant double chocolate cookie. Once I’ve had all of that I can start work. On really good days I’ll already have done an hour’s work and the coffee and cookie are the bribe to myself to finish the stuff I don’t want to do. Afterwards I can reward myself again by doing what I really want to be doing – writing.
Even when it is hard – which is all the time – I still have a passion for writing. Writing is probably the most difficult relationship I have in my life – I never have enough time for it, I never allow it to truly flourish and have independence. It’s my ugly changeling baby that I want to keep hidden yet desperately want everyone to see.
And interestingly writing this blog entry has been incredibly easy compared to the slog of the handwritten hour of Daily Pages. I suspect the Daily Pages make this easier – an intellectual laxative.