Out walking today it dawned on me why my writing has been going better than usual these days. My fiction is flourishing, my pre-study notes are noteworthy. I noticed that in the latest things I’ve done, I’ve set myself a clear goal: some target to achieve with my writing. It sounds simple, and it probably is to most, but I’ve never really taking it seriously. I’ve always believed stubbornly in the grace of the muse, just coming down from the heavens, leading me on as soon as I let my fingers do the talking. It works sometimes, which is why I have been led on believing it to be the way for me. But after what has felt like a year of drought, where I’ve been stopped in my tracks more often than I’ve gotten on the train, where I have a hundred ‘saved drafts’ and a sad half-filled notebook of what can at most be described as attempts, it has finally started raining again.
Maybe it was the thunder the other night that woke me up, got me to realise that nature might just toast me any day now. I’ve probably already lived longer than most people in world history (how frightening a thought that is, how many poor souls left for dead in premature years). And I started setting goals before sitting down to write. Not much, necessarily. Just a theme and an ending — then let the words take form on the path there. It has helped tremendously with my ideas for my thesis, making sure I write down coherent thoughts instead of just scribbling down whatever loud nonsense came into my mind. And it has helped with the (still short) fiction I wrote to you yesterday (and plan to keep on writing). Especially that last one, the fiction to you, feels like such a shining light for me, telling me that I can do that kind of stuff, I can write fiction and be attentive to a storyline. Even if it’s just for a short period so far, it’s longer than 99 % of anything I’ve ever managed to concentrate on. It has a purpose, it has a direction. It might not be very original, and it’s intentions might be questionable at best, but it flows from my fingers like I’ve never tried before.
Maybe it’s just your presence that gives new life to my words. The whole muse-thing being true after all. But I like to think that I have at least found out a little something on my own as well. I’ll grant you the joy to write, I’ll grant myself the method.
It really has started raining now, and if it wasn’t because I’d been in front of my computer all day, reading papers for the thesis and spending indecent lunch break minutes continuing the fiction to you, I’d use the sound of the rain to write on. But I also strongly believe that every good day of work must come to its conclusion. And I’m hungry.