Today on the Writing Time blog there was a quote from Walter Mosley: “The first thing you have to know about writing is that it is something you must do every day. There are two reasons for this rule: getting the work done and connecting with your unconscious mind.”
That last bit is so true. Husband is generous with pointing out how disconnected I am with myself. (Sometimes I take this well, other times I tell him to fuck off.) It shows up in a variety of ways, from lost keys to a protracted series of chores where in the midst of doing one thing I remember another thing and pretty soon I am doing twenty things at once and none of them well.
It shows up in the way I check my Yahoo!Mail every morning for no particular reason. At best I have an email from my father with a collection of airplane nose art. This isn’t going to get any better now that he has discovered YouTube. Or there could be an email from a frequent flyer club, which can easily lead to an hour of flight searches for imaginary vacations.
It shows up with obsessive checking of my BlackBerry and working long hours despite my company going down the drain. Husband and I sometimes sleep in separate beds in London. One of the reasons I like it other than avoiding the farting and being yelled at for lying on my back (which may or may not result in me snoring) is because after my BlackBerry alarm goes off I can immediately check my email (Southeast Asia will have already been bombarding me with problems). Next I check my calendar to get myself mentally braced for what hell may or may not be in store for me that day. If I tried to do that while in bed with husband the BlackBerry would be promptly dispatched out the window to rants about what a complete robotic mess I am.
A month or so ago Vivienne Westwood was on Jonathan Ross saying something similarly brilliant to Mosley’s advice, about how distraction is one of the modern evils of society. Both Mosley and Westwood are right, and what they are saying is two sides of the same coin.
Writing is one answer, and I’ve just proved I have enough time to do it every day by listing out all the useless crap I do make time for. The Cotswolds also work in a forced “get in touch with yourself chamber” kind of way. There’s no Internet and the BlackBerry only works if you stand by the window in the kitchen. And trudging along the edge of ploughed field, up hills, through tall wet grass for miles on miles is as therapeutic as any couch.