Saturday, November 26, 2011

Making bargains with myself.


I am away writing. Don’t let that fool you though, I’m not actually writing. Apart from blogs, which I am as yet undecided about in terms of their actual validity re “writing”. She says, writing her blog. 

I am away, down the coast, enjoying some time alone, just me and my computer. The idea is that I will write some more of Fury – my next play. This means that I write all manner of other stuff. The best way to write a group of other unrelated things is to have one big thing that you need to finish. It’s also a great way to get the housework done, the bills paid, the budget planned etc etc. That is, of course, the reason why I went away – so that I couldn’t do things like housework and child rearing. Doesn’t stop me from writing other things though.

I have managed to work a double blind on myself though. I actually wanted to write some more of Evie – the novel that I’ve been working on, and in an effort to avoid Fury I have written another chapter of Evie... see how that works! Shazam! I fooled myself! Woooo!

This is the delicate tightrope I work with myself, the filigree golden thread that connects me to my artistic world. It is, in actuality, a series of bargains.  

“If I write one page of Evie, I can have a piece of honeycomb”
“If I read Fury and correct the grammar then I can have a cup of tea”
“If I do yoga I can pour myself a huge bath and read my book in it” (something I have done twice in the last two days)

I read once that Douglas Adams loved baths, and that he frequently climbed into them to avoid writers block. I can see why. I am way more disciplined than Douglas Adams, I make my bargains and then get into the bath.

Recently I was listening to a podcast where a writer talked about the way in which good writing, the best writing, seems to come effortlessly. I know that feeling, what a wonderful feeling that is, it’s as if for a moment your mind reaches up and joins that continuous powerful stream of stories that already exist. The words flow right out of you, hours pass incredibly quickly and when you stop you feel energised, excited and thrilled. That sensation is the one that keeps me believing in the concept of a shared universe. A universe that we all belong to and can reach out to and which can nurture us.

I wish that I could feel that a bit more. As I’m not a full time writer I don’t have to force myself to write shit that I’m not interested in, but there are plenty of other writers that do have to. I don’t think that they get to reach up into that incandescent flow of inspiration very often. But that’s work for you.

I have one more day before I go home. One more day to fool myself into writing Fury – the idea is that tomorrow I will make myself work on Evie, and of course, my mind will immediately want to start writing Fury.

Just a word on cockatoos, they really are very funny birds. There is a swarm of them that hang around on my balcony – fluffing themselves up and squawking and walking back and forth in their silly pigeon toed way. I have a favourite of course, his name is Phil, short for Philthy – he has a big dirty patch on his chest and he is the most bossy and pushy of all the birds. He annoys the others, pecks at them, fluffs himself up constantly and annoys me for biscuits. Today Phil sat stoically, some might say, doggedly, on the railing outside the apartment, as the driving rain fell on him. There is nothing sadder then a wet cockatoo, his beak was buried in his chest and he was sunk low on his feet. But there he sat. For hours. I gave him a biscuit – I felt sorry for him, and besides I had just managed to finish editing another writer’s play and had promised myself a coffee and a biscuit for Phil. See, everyone wins with my bargains: Me, the theatrical world and Phil.  

Phil in happier (warmer, less sodden) times.