How the mind and the hand become one.
Since the start of lockdown, I have written every single day.
I wrote most days before this, but I cultivated the daily discipline because, well....I didn't have much else to do.
But, it has paid dividends.
It hasn't been easy and some days I feel like I am scraping the barrel of ideas and at other times my motivation is low. But, I stuck with it.
I accepted that I wouldn't produce a piece of gold every day, but understood that the process of continuity would increase the chances of greater inspiration in the long run.
Actually, when you commit to a practice such as writing every day, you develop a trust in yourself that the inspiration will flow. You begin to see the world differently. You look more, listen more, pay attention to the little things.
That's where the gold is anyhow. It's not in the big ideas, they come every so often, the magic is in the minutiae.
Just when I might think I've got nothing to write about, a giant pigeon will land on the roof of the house and wake the whole family up. I wrote about this the other day in Getting Up With The Birds. In the past, I would have missed that moment, in the search for something grandiose, deep and meaningful.
The other noticeable benefit from my daily writing is that the gap between my mind and my hand has got smaller. I used to have the thought but not be able to write it. It would come out confused and garbled and need several re-writes and lots of editing. Now I tend to find that the thoughts in my head are clearer and the way they come out on the page is very close to the original thought. This creates a wonderful sense of flow when writing. It is like being more of a channel for the words to come through you, rather than an overanalytical, clunky, logical and mechanical process of thinking and then writing.
I think that flow is the greatest benefit to be perfectly honest. Writing is an absolute joy and privilege, and it wasn't always that way.
I feel honoured to be able to string words together and create meaning and feeling. It excites me, humbles me, inspires me.
It doesn't matter to me if nobody reads it. It is the process that is the joy and not the recognition or acknowledgement.
Writing is a lonely experience, at the best of times. We sit, with just our thoughts and our tools of choice, and attempt to produce something out of nothing.
So, if we can celebrate and appreciate that lonely process, and maybe even come up with something interesting, then in my mind we are already winning.