“Anyone can say you can’t write. Let no one say you don’t.” — Ken Rand

My Cunning Plan to move furniture into a nook and write there in the early morning with a cup of coffee on the desk and a slowly illuminating garden outside the window is bearing fruit; I have a Place, a Time, Seclusion, and a Ritual.

Someone at Writer’s Weekend (I think, perhaps, Ken Rand, but I don’t really remember) suggested that there are placebos one can give one’s mind to trick it into the creative process. (Yes, it was Ken Rand.) If one sits down to write each day, and, as the process truly starts to move, a diligent assistant steps up and thwacks you with a stick (or, for purists in behavior shaping, rings a bell and gives you a dog treat), eventually being thwacked with a stick will trigger the creative process. And massive salivation.

Something like that. I was on an emotional high when I heard it; I may have the details slightly skewed.

His method is: If it is early morning, the font is Courier, his wife is asleep, and he is clothed, he is writing. If it is evening, the font is Times, he is in bed, he is naked, and his wife is there with him, he is editing.

“Hm,” I thought, and considered, very briefly, the image of an editing Ken Rand dancing through drafts — atmospheric as well as literary. I shuddered and moved more to his point, which I took to be “if your family is conscious, you won’t be able to drift into creativity.”

Perhaps that wasn’t his point, but it’s a good one. So. Early morning. For me, if –

– it is early morning –
– I am freshly showered –
– am in my bathrobe –
– I have coffee at my elbow –
– the garden is slowly waking –
– the house is silent –

– then I must be writing. We’ll see how it works. Rituals have value, and a shortened and reliable entry into a creative trance would pretty much top the list of values, for me.

This morning I had to take a miss on writing and trot Othello off to the bus station — which didn’t work out; the bus was full. Wasted day, sigh.

As it happened, Bridgette’s mom called about mid-writing-time and raised all sorts of unholy hell, so I’d have been thrown off in any case. Just as well, I suppose, that I wasn’t in stride to be thrown off.

I find I’m looking forward to tomorrow morning. Tomorrow at 5:30, ferchrissakes.

Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry

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