Sunday, 13 September 2015
DAILY RITUALS #3
20 minutes yoga.
20 minutes meditation.
Breakfast and animal-feeding, farewells and cleaning-up.
And then around 9 am the day’s work begins. I try really hard to limit admin to an hour, but this rarely happens. As a freelancer, much of my time is spent answering emails, pursuing work, taking care of issues connected with the work I have, and of course all the other stuff of daily life.
Ideally, I then turn off the internet at the wall. It depends if anyone else is in the house and needs it on. Usually, they are. So then I have to exert massive will-power to avoid the Procrastinator’s Joy: jumping online at the least provocation - to check emails, check tomorrow’s weather, find out what those twins from kindy are doing these days.
To combat this, I try to set myself a goal of what I need to do, writing-wise, that day. I work fuelled by a constant stream of tea (and thus, many trips to the bathroom). Depending on the particular project, and also what stage of development it’s at, I’ll work differently. If it’s verse or lyrics, I write longhand. I like to be able to see my crossings-out, and make lists of rhymes down the side of the page. Same with notes on a new idea – something about the looseness and physicality and intimacy of writing longhand feels right. If I’m ready to write a draft, and if I’m doing rewrites, it’s generally straight to the computer.
Often, I’ll be working on more than one project simultaneously, so I’ll divide the time, giving a couple of hours to each. And throughout the day, I’ll pause to do bits of housework like hanging up laundry... I used to think this was avoidance, but now I believe it’s a useful part of the process. I remember Verity once called these ‘smoothing actions’, which makes me think of a cat clawing its blanket as it turns in circles before finally settling down.
I need to get out of the house at some point and move. If I need to clear my head, I jump on my bicycle and do errands. If I’m still working, I like to walk. I can think better like that, plus it’s easy to stop and write things down. Quiet residential streets, back lanes – no shops, too distracting.
I stop around 3 pm, when the kids get home. Later on, I might do more work in the evening if it needs to be done, or if I’m feeling inspired.