Saturday, 11 January 2014

Writer as domestic goddess

#Nigella has nothing on me. 7. 30 this morning I was in the kitchen whipping up a meringue. Admittedly I wasn't fully made up and wearing a black silk dressing gown. Pink fleece, thick tights and furry boots aren't in the same league, but my kitchen is the real thing. The heating hadn't kicked in and our tiny kitchen soon gets warm when the oven is coming up to temperature.

It was very satisfying standing there as the sky turned pink, the cat scoffed her breakfast and husband  slept. There are now egg yolks to add to the scrambled eggs for breakfast and the pudding for tonight is almost complete.

All of which led me to wonder why so many writers I know love to cook. Is it because that is one job that you have to start and follow through to completion? A book or a short story can marinade for weeks or even months. Then it takes even longer before you have a first draft and that is only the beginning of the whole process.

Whatever the reason it is almost time to go back to the kitchen and check on the pavlova bases, then I will turn my mind to a title for my latest short story.  

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Job or Aspiration?

Is your writing a job or an aspiration? Reading an excellent blog on this topic got me thinking about how I view my writing.

At times I try to view it as my job and when I do I put in more hours and get more done. Then life takes over, there are family and friends to see, garden to tend, the house to clean and the writing gets pushed to the bottom of the list. At first this feels fine. Then very quickly frustration sets in. If I'm not writing I get tetchy and irritable, my life feels very small and closed in. I need the escape into my imagination and the challenge of wrestling with words to create stories. 

Why then am I not more rigid about setting aside the time to write? Is it because to do so is to admit how important it is? Or is it because in some perverse way I put off doing what I know is good for me? Because ultimately that is what writing is. For me it is vital, it keeps me in balance with myself and with the world. When I'm writing I am energised, I feel better about myself and about life in general. 

Perhaps the answer is to see writing as neither a job, nor an aspiration but a way of life. In purely practical terms to write all morning have the rest of the day to do everything else. 

Now that could work ...