October officially fell apart, entirely, on the writing front.
I recognise the pattern.
I’m in the middle of moving – a process that begins mentally, a few weeks before the event, and ends somewhere a few weeks after. My will towards normal domestic upkeep has nose dived. I’m only just making my bed in the morning; my clothing languishes in wash baskets instead of being promptly put away. Thanks to my mother-in-law, the rest of the house is still functioning properly, because it’s hers, and she’s staying. But I recognise the pattern, nonetheless.
In my adult life, I’ve moved over 40 times, in the space of 23 years. That’s a lot of disruption. And I need stability to write. Domestic stability. My definition of this is flexible – I was able to write while travelling in New Zealand for 15 months because we lived in our van and our home went wherever we did. I’ve been living in transient accommodation for the last 3 years so I’ve learnt to settle quickly and push for some writing – but it doesn’t surprise me that my output is sporadic.
Whenever I have a sense of home, I write. When home becomes disrupted (or doesn’t feel like home at all), I don’t write.
Currently not writing. Currently seeking stability. Currently champing at the bit to have a home. A real one, where I can stay. And write. Currently have no idea where that is, only that it’s on the other side of the world, in a town I love, and a brand new life awaits.
The funny thing is – writing is almost purely speculation. I float when I write. I float on a sea of ideas in a rudderless boat, wondering which current will take me where. I think it’s this aspect of writing that makes my Muse need a stable home – without a solid, physical, emotional foundation, she can’t function clearly. There’s too much ether. Ideas still come but the act of writing – of sitting in concentration and extracting stories from them, of pointing the words to the page and shaping the direction to which they’ll grow- that needs stability in daily rhythm.
It needs a sunny verandah and breakfast with birds and the observation of seasons. It needs a living room with sewing tools and bookshelves and plants that need tending, and a garden that toils continually forward and brings food into the house. It needs a clothes line and a comfy bed and a knowledge of what the neighbours are doing and when, and what we’ll be doing alongside, and when. It needs this kind of quiet domesticity to flourish.
It’s really hard to put into words what my writing needs, but from the observation of its seasons and swells, I always write best- no, in fact, I always write – when I wake up in the morning and feel at home. Tearing up my roots, however feebly they have grown, always upsets the balance. I want, more than anything, a home – a stable home – where I can finally lay down my bones and rest. And when I’m done resting, where I can build, where I can grow, where I can settle – where I can write.
I’ve yet to explore my potential from the view point of a truly stable home. Something tells me that whatever is lurking beneath the surface of this writer is the most exciting of all the unknown.