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diving for words and how morning writing has recently helped me with that

I have started a new story. It’s the story of a relationship, but told only from one side and illuminated only from one side. And while the relationship is the focus, I look more at how the narrator deals with the conflicting feelings of pity, guilt and a love that is truly on the rocks. It’s powerful stuff, even if I say so myself. It’s a pure joy to write and I’m diving right in, right down to where the feelings lurk and I drag them up in the guise of words about grey clouds racing across the heathlands, an affectionate dog and the appearance of a hare. If you’re intrigued, then let me tell you, you cannot be more so than me. I’m just taking a quick breather to recover from all the tangled emotions before going under again. I cannot wait to discover what is down there.

On a (only slightly) less elated, yet related, note – I’ve started writing ‘morning pages’. After my wonderful friend Rachel, Human Rights activist and the genius behind rightswriter, gave me a link to a website encouraging you to write 750 words every day (, I decided to not sign up with the website (one more log-in to remember – no way!), but instead to force myself to follow this really good idea by myself. I’ve managed to do this for the last week, with only one exception. I get up, pull back the curtains, put on my warm wooly socks and the warm, over-sized jumper and sit down at the desk, bashing out words, most of the time with my eyes still closed. Around 300, they usually start to open, though very slowly. Around 500 I’m moderately awake. When I’ve done the 750, I’m ready for tea. The benefits? Even while what I’m writing in the morning is totally unstructured, rambling, diary-style, planning-the-day-ahead stuff, I usually end with feeling ready to go on writing. It helps me break through the barrier of  “Oh, I have to wait until inspiration strikes” – because that bloody inspiration strikes very, very rarely. Instead, I sit down and write. It helps to have a thermos of tea next to my elbow and a hot water bottle under my feet.

That reminds me – I need to make more tea before dropping down to the murky water of word-covered emotions and pulling them up to the surface to glitter in the sunlight.

At least, I hope they’ll glitter.

Anyone else has experience with establishing firm writing/working routines?