Wednesday, January 08, 2020

I forgot

I've forgotten how to write for the eight hundredth time and I have to learn again. My approach includes finding inspirational quotes, writing desperately to writer friends, and looking at lists of people who started doing things late in life. I wake up early, always early, just when the sky is beginning to twinkle with morning, and I think about writing while the birds wake up, and I try to resist picking up my phone to see what He Has Done Now and scouring Insta for inspiring stories. I think about people who talk about getting up early to write before the light eaks in, before their brain is addled, or the devil has found them. I used to be able to do it. I've found words that seem to make sense. I'm looking for the flow, which is what you get on a horse with a ball of energy in its tummy on a cold January morning. It's like sitting on a nuclear powered tube of toothpaste - the minute you unscrew the cap - it all wants to come squirting out. Be zen, be zen, my trainer said last week. "The more she squiggles, the calmer you must be." So I sat on her this morning trotting endless circles, my hand, my head, my leg connected, focusing on her not bucking me off. Focusing on calming her down, bringing her back to me, patting her intermittently on the neck, saying "easy girl, good girl." And slowly but surely she came back to me, and neck became soft at the base, and her poll became soft and her ears began to bend in a rhythm with the trot, and her stride lengthened and smoothed out. And all the time, we were in the flow, unaware of anything else (except the monsters in the hedge), both of us together, fully in sync.

And that's what it's like when you are writing well. You are fully focused on allowing the words to flow through your fingertips, without thinking or fearing or correcting or editing, just allowing, just, I suppose, being a conduit.

Start. That's all. Just start. There is power in a first step.

And happy new year to all of you who have been so very kind and supportive over the years. I am most grateful.


Z said...

Just do it - or, as my daughter says, JFDI, is what matters, isn't it? Hard as it can be, it does get better.

Lou said...

Exquisitely written xx

Patricia said...

This is the perfect description of being in flow: moving with, being carried and being soft. I loved this. And then - to do it all with a mare♥️

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