Thursday, 10 September 2015



The 7-On-ers have been inspired by a book we heard about recently: here it comes, a good old plug!

It is a new book, by Mason Currey, that, amongst other things, documents the rituals of writers, artists and others. It's a great read.

We thought we might, at the risk, of course, of Too Much Information, try a short telling of our own rituals. Maybe a few others out there might want to reply with offerings of their/your own?

I (this is Verity) have been dobbed in as first cab off the rank.


Wake up. Wish I was still asleep. There are two never-fail brilliant moments in any day. One is when the head hits the pillow at night. The  other is…oh joy! Breakfast. Get up.

Am I doing yoga this morning? There has been recent trouble with The Back, owing to recent trouble with The Foot. TMI alert? Enuff.

Yoga does mean delaying one of the Two Regular Joys, but yoga is a Near-Joy, not to mention borderline essential for a neurasthenic writer. So I do the requisite half an hour. Carefully.

Regular Joy time. Anyone who has stayed at my place will know about The Good Breakfast. For that small proportion of the known universe who hasn’t, and thus doesn’t, just bide your time. You’ll get your chance when you need a bed in South Australia.

If I am a truly lucky woman on any particular day I start working right after The Good Breakfast. But I need order these days, so I rarely do. I have a series of tasks – could these be rituals I’m asking myself? – like journal keeping, finance check, a fair whack of wiping down of surfaces, two lots of newspapers – that require my attention: and, like everyone living in the 21st century I probably check my emails when really – they could wait.

Before The Foot, I walked for half an hour, too, which was a beautiful source of calming and gathering. These days I have to swim instead, though not every day. The main benefit of swimming is maybe of a little less use to a writer, but…not bad either. The Good Thing about swimming is that it’s a mood booster and as my current work is all about extreme darkness, then maybe that’s closer to an Excellent Thing and a sign of careful attention from a benevolent universe. Everything is meaningful in my universe, to the irritation of about 90% of friends and acquaintances. I just can’t seem to shake the sensation that there’s a purpose here somewhere, even when it’s clear that there can’t be.

And where’s the writing in this? It clocks in about now. I can write anywhere, at any time, no matter what the distractions, if I have to. It’s the result of years of being in a situation when it was write like that, or not write at all.

I am an obsessive gatherer. My computer, my bookshelves, my notebooks, my house, my sheds all hold reams of research on the subjects of all my plays, which I retain for the period when I’m working on the piece and then am as uninformed as anyone else on the topic the moment the play has been completed. Except that I still have the notes to send you if you are foolish enough to express an interest…and I do know where to find them!

So on any given day I might be working on that research. Or I might be lucky enough to be actually writing. And it might be going well. And words might come from I don’t know where and I might like them. That day. And reject them the next. But it’s fun while it lasts. An Elusive, as opposed to a Reliable Joy. But it’s the one that counts, and the one that I seem to have given my life to.

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