Monday, March 22, 2010

Something to think about

Perhaps it's the switch to daylight savings time but I've been feeling a joy-of-spring feeling lately, a feeling of energy and internal happiness. I'm back in love with writing and the fact that I have a crazy amount of real-world work just makes me laugh. Also, for the past week I've been re-reading Virginia Woolf's diaries, something I do every couple of years or when I lack inspiration. It's fascinating to follow the up and down progress as she finds her form and then is halted by everyday interruptions (including having T.S. Eliot as a houseguest -- which would intimidate anyone!)

So I found this one little nugget which I mean to remember when I can't write:

"The way to rock oneself back into writing is this. First gentle exercise in the air. Second the reading of good literature. It is a mistake to think that literature can be produced from the raw. One must get out of life...one must become externalized, very, very concentrated..."

OK, long walks. I can do that. (Even though I don't have a country house.)
"The reading of..." well, something to get the mind moving. (I have a feeling my reading is far trashier than Virginia Woolf's "good literature.")
Finally, get out of life. Not out into life...out of life, away from interruptions and demands. Give yourself space to think.
Fortunately right now I don't need this advice. I'm off to make hay while the sun shines.

2 comments:

laurel said...

Hmm, walks and reading do help, and having space to think. But I sometimes find that when I have too much time on my hands--like when it's slow at work--I more easily procrastinate. Feeling that my writing time is precious, I make better use of it.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Happy Hay making! Great advice. A brisk walk in the fresh air is the best.