On writing

One of the last thoughts that I remember before falling asleep yesterday (or technically today, as it was almost 6 a.m.) was, that I’m going to write today. It was a happy thought. Writing relaxes me, helps to unwind tangled thoughts, cleanses the mind.

Six years ago I tried to follow a system called ‘morning pages’ from Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”. The idea – as much as I recall – was that every day, right after waking up, one would sit down and write 3 A4 pages of text. Doesn’t matter what exactly, structure is irrelevant, even correct spelling somewhat optional. I hardly remember anything else from that book, so evidently it didn’t make that much of an impression. However, this particular idea of un-self-censored writing has some merits. It is definitely not applicable in the idealized fashion depicted in the book, as not all of us are a) morning people who enjoy getting up at 5 a.m. in order to have an hour for peaceful writing and b) have windows sufficiently high and well-placed in order to see the sunrise and feel “creative energy”.

Nevertheless, I wrote the morning pages for about a month and this notebook is one of the few that made it here to Greece with me. One of the most striking sentences I found in there was “I’ve kept 28 notebooks and diaries”. Precious few (plus a number of torn-out pages) still exist – as the cost of transport from Denmark to Greece necessitated draconian choices in terms of books and personal papers. Of course, perhaps the greatest loss (in retrospect) were the teenage diaries that I destroyed almost as soon as I had filled the notebooks. Small apartment, no lockable drawers – the only way to safeguard the thoughts and secrets was to send them back to nothingness.

 

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