Telling today’s story

rain on windowToday’s story is about sitting on the sofa instead of at my desk because it feels less like work and more like having a little party all by myself.  I’ve wrapped mysef in a blanket and am considering a second cup of tea in a minute.  That’s how racy it’s getting around here.  Today’s soundtrack is bucketloads of raindrops splattering the windows, and the visual inspiration of the day is the grey picture above.  The cosiness of a rainy day from the right side of the glass.  And the joy of remembering that working at home means you can work wherever you like.

Of course this was not the story I was going to tell you.  I had some other plan which I thought of yesterday.  I’m not sure now what it was, even when I look at the note I made at the time.  It was probably a good idea, but it was yesterday’s idea and by the time I sat down today to write it, I wasn’t feeling it any more.

I know writers talk a lot about discipline, about writing regularly whether you’re in the mood or not, and I’m all for that.  What I can’t do is make myself write something I’m not feeling.  So I sit down to write at the allotted time, but when every word on the screen feels like another tooth being pulled, I’m probably not writing what I need to write today.  The only thing to do is to begin again, and tell today’s story, even if it’s not what I planned.  Even if today’s story means inventing a whole new chapter when I was supposed to be finishing chapter 3.

Today’s story can only ever be written when it’s fresh.  Once it’s written you can do whatever you choose with it.  You can edit and rewrite it many times.  It can be a blog, a paragraph in the introduction to your book, a stand-alone essay or a passing reference in the middle of chapter 7.  Or just a private note to self and some good writing practice which will never see the light of day.  It’s all good.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t revisit yesterday’s ideas.  If I was still feeling the truth of yesterday’s idea, you’d be reading a different blog and I’d probably have finished writing it half an hour earlier.  But if we do nothing else, we must write the truth we feel.  And if we can do that while enjoying a cup of tea on a comfy sofa, so much the better!

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