I’m not an every-day writer. I do not sit down every day at some hour on the dot and begin to work. I rest, a lot. I let life fester, ferment, and sometimes I get lucky. Sometimes (more often than not, upon the arrival of the daffodils), I get a few words down—words not mine, not even the writers’ whose books I took them from. If lucky, I manage to string them together with other words.
I journal, obsessively, upon waking: Has the goal for today’s work changed since last night? If so, why? Who is the heart of that why? If not, what’s at the heart of that why? Then I put down new words for several hours. I break to journal. This is not going well. Why? Start over? What is the heart of these new words? Is it on the page? If not, how to get it there? How to make the heart sing? I return to the page. I put down new words for several more hours. I break to eat, to make more coffee or tea, to bathe or go to bed. Before I sleep, I journal: What went well today? What’s the goal for tomorrow? This is the hardest part, for me, of being a writer: allowing it to happen, interrogating it ruthlessly, daily, nightly, hour after hour. Getting it down. Letting it out. Sharing it.