Really I should say clearing as writing. Or even better, clearing as pre-writing. It’s not easy, coming off the five or even ten years of writing the novel of my great grandfather’s life. It’s like he’s been riding me, on my back all that time. And now — whooph! Loose ends. Shouldn’t I be plunging into the next idea? Turns out, no. Well, yes-and-no. Love the idea, have done bits of writing, some research, but I feel, I KNOW it is too soon. I find I am at this stage, described by Eric Maisel,
When you choose an idea to work on, what is appropriate to know is that you largely do not know what is about to happen… the artist who is more interested in creating deeply than in ridding herself of anxiety will refuse to know too soon. She will remain with doubts, worries, questions, and the burning desire to realize herself… This is the chaos working, the necessary chaos…
I found that quote in the Mslexia magazine diary of 2006 (how loyal I am, a subscriber from the start! And the diary is a great aid, every year.)
Instead of writing I am clearing my bookshelves. It is a psychological and mythological truth that sorting is a psychic task. So, my physical urge and my inner state are definitely together in this. Out they go, years and years of teaching materials, winnowing them down to one or two… maybe three binders. Many of the how-to-write books that helped me write and teach, clear out! Clippings and Good Ideas (from ten years ago?!), gone! Goodness knows the quantity of trees the paper represents. All I do know is that my heart is delighted, satisfied, with the empty plastic pages and the binders, and it loves sticking blank labels over the written ones. What does it want? What do I want? Space.
Time for a tiny bit of the constructive to balance this: I’ve added an autumn haiku to so still, my haiku page.