‘Writing is about hypnotising yourself into believing in yourself, getting some work done, then unhypnotising yourself and going over the material coldly.’ – Anne Lamott, ‘Bird by Bird’.
‘Bird by Bird’ has been recommended to me for years, and I’ve finally been reading it. As well as teeming with nuggets of wisdom about writing, it’s laugh-out-loud funny in many parts.
I finally got back to working on ‘Stirring the Cauldron’ (my book on motherhood, spirituality and creativity) this week after a break of a few weeks following (yet another) house move. It was supremely satisfying to be back at my laptop engaging with this project, hearing the voices of the mothers I’ve interviewed, finding their common strands and their unique take on things. I did have to ‘hypnotise’ myself into getting there though, to ignore temporarily all the myriad admin tasks clamouring for my attention, to allow myself to be in the chaos of a halfway finished first draft, to ignore the voices of self-criticism and ‘what’s the point’, to simply clear the space to do it.
But it feels good.