6th April 2018
I am writing again. I have made the announcement to friends and family that my mornings are blocked off for the foreseeable future. Don't call. Don't ask to go out on a walk. Don't invite me out for coffee. I won't answer. I recently got a new computer which is connected to the interent, a new thing for me and one which is helpful insofar as when I have a research question, I have immdediate access to the answer (what did we ever do before the internet - was all this information at the library?) But the problem is, I have email access, too, and also that dark dark hole called Twitter. I have yet to come up with a stratgey for Twitter - it's like the hypnotic effect of the voice from beyond, drawing me like in a horror film sleep-walking towards the edge of a cliff. The hypnosis puts your fingers into automatic pilot: just one more scroll up, and the reward will present itself.
So, no email, no twitter, while I'm working. Just that sideways stare at the carpet beneath my feet, that pause that makes you look to the observer as though you are doing nothing at all. It makes you susceptible to the question: so how many pages have you actually written? It's the writer zone that stops the pendulum and steps into the timeless, the creative flow that is not ecstatic, but deathly quiet. That's where the writer or any artist must go, and, I suspect, that's why you have to take yourself bodily, pry your fingers off the latest newscast or any other procrastination that is so much easier than stepping into the waiting room of the creative process.
But it's answering the call that makes of the writer an artist - it is both the sentence and the great reward. It is the monitoring device around your ankle that for the entire period of the writing, however long it takes, is on and buzzing and and is designed to make escape impossible.
I'm not complaining, and I do not mean to romanticise it. I am in the process of it now, so give me my mornings. I may look as though I am doing nothing. But leave me be.