Work With What You’ve Got

I woke up cheerful this morning — no calls ahead, no urgent deadlines — and took Obi for a nice romp around our new park.

When I got home I made a very comforting bowl of porridge, Boyfriend made coffees, and we settled down to enjoy some sun as the work day began.

By midday, I was in a feral, I’m-gonna-throw-my-laptop-out-the-window kinda mood.

It’s pretty rare for me to find myself in this kind of state, so it makes me sit up and take note when it does happen. There’s no point trying to write anything good in that headspace; it all just comes out as incoherent swearing, so I usually turn to journaling instead.

Stream-of-consciousness free writing in a journal always helps me figure out what’s making me antsy — it’s in there somewhere; you just have to give it enough ink to work its way out.

When it materialised, I looked up some content to see if I could understand it a bit better, journaled some more, and then got distracted by a line that I could put in the book.

I didn’t want to forget it, so I popped over into the document for a minute, and then two hours I realised I’d forgotten to make lunch.

All the journaling had cleared away enough of the mood to let some creativity and momentum flow back in, and now I can officially declare the day Not A Wash.

Not every day is going to be a great writing day. Not every day is a writing day, period. But it’s usually worth a shot to see if you can coax something out.

There’s often something hiding, waiting for you to get closer. You don’t have to unearth the whole thing all at once — sometimes you can’t, and on days like this, it’s better if you don’t try too hard.

Let things come to you as they’re ready. They’ll float up out of the darkness when you start casting a light around.

And if you have no light to shine today, that’s fine. Spend some time swimming around in your mind, looking at what’s piled up in there, then come back tomorrow and see what you’ve got.

You might be surprised at what’s sprung up overnight.