Writer’s Diary #25 – Over coming the Blahs

The last few days have been good writing days: I’ve sat down, focused on one writing task at a time, and gotten about 3,000 good words revised, in about 4 hours, everyday.

Today, for whatever reason, I’m not feeling it. Maybe the weather’s bad, or I started too late, or I didn’t sleep well.

What to do? Make a plan. I want to write myself into a good mood. To do this, I’m taking a line from the last few weeks. I will write in a ritualistic way. First, this entry in my [Writer’s Diary] (https://www.tubb.ca/writers-diary/. Second, a fragment or two for the fragments project. Third, I’ll continue to work on sections in Chapter 1 of the makeshift book.

This is especially important today, so I don’t get lost outlining or planning or by none writing work, and instead focus on the drafting and revision.

I think this will work because of a line I remember reading in Br. Paul Quenon’s book [In Praise of a Useless Life] (https://www.amazon.ca/Praise-Useless-Life-Monks-Memoir-ebook/dp/B077BV12FS/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1689773279&sr=8-1) Quenon is a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani, a monastery in Kentucky. The line, which I won’t look up, was simply reflecting on the ordered nature of the day, broken by prayer times and different tasks assigned at different times, and the freedom that gave for though. The schedule and the ritual gave time for contemplation. A lot of time, but time shaped by the daily round of work, song, prayer, and joy, shaped by the bell to prayer.

The Benedictine schedule:

  • 3:15 am Vigils
  • 5:45 am Lauds, followed by Mass
  • 7:30 am Terce
  • 12:15 pm Sext
  • 2:15 pm None
  • 5:30 pm Vespers
  • 7:30 pm Compline

Anyway, I’m neither Catholic or a Monk, but there’s a freedom in knowing the rhythm of the day. While a joy of a vacation or a holiday is the unexpected and the serendipitous, there is an equal joy in order. Writing these past few weeks has been ordered and structured in the shape of what I work on: the blog, the fragments, the makeshift book, then on to other task.

I have time to think and work, without having to wonder what comes next? There is a cognitive cost to having to decide to do something. By having a habit, its saves such a load.

Anyway, I think that’s the task for today.

Write an hour in this blog, take a break. Write an hour in the fragments, take a break. Write an hour the makeshift, take a break.