It’s so easy to sink into the doldrums once it gets its hook into me. I can still feel the residue of yesterday’s surliness. I’m in a bad mood already. I don’t want to stay there. I remember Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments on writing, #5 specifically.
- Work on one thing at a time until finished.
- Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’
- Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
- Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
- When you can’t create you can work.
- Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
- Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
- Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
- Discard the Program when youfeel like it—but go back to it next day.
- Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.Forget the books you want to write.
- Think only of the book you are writing.
I can apply all the commandments to everyday living. Some days things don’t go easily or smoothly. These days I will have to work at it till the flow comes back. Now that my acute hip and back pain are gone, I’m not quite as eager to do the stretches. I do them anyways. Those little twinges remind me but I still have to push myself. I try to find pleasure in my efforts. Sheba comes to the rescue, licking my face and crowding close, trying to find room on my mat.
I can’t say that I feel a whole lot better having done the stretches. I’m looking at #4 – Work according to program and not to mood. I keep the stretching short and sweet. There’s less chance of my abandoning my efforts that way. I’m building on my successes on a small scale. I like this quote from Lisa Wimberger:
“You fill a bucket drop by drop. You clear your mind thought by thought. You heal yourself moment by moment. Today I make one drop, clear one thought, and get present to one moment. And then I do it again.”
There’s so much wisdom in that. Every drop (of effort/success) counts. They eventually fill the bucket. I know. It takes time and maybe a very long time. But what are you going to do in the meantime – nothing? In my meantime, I have painted my picture for 365Somethings 2018, stretched, transplanted some seedlings, taken Sheba to the dog park, picked up my prescription and flowers, vaccum, visited my parents, write this post. Sounds like I’ve done alot! I haven’t done the lunch dishes yet. It’s next.