Stirring Old Ghosts

For the bulk of this week, I have been setting myself a schedule for my writing. Between 1pm and 4pm I take myself out of the house – away from the television and the internet – to sit in a cafe and write.

I’ve had some success with this, and on days when I haven’t managed it – due to my travel to Stratford to soak myself in theatre – I found I missed it. I was glad to get back to my schedule today.

I’m working on two different pieces right now. I was hesitant to split my focus at first, but I’ve found that having the variety is actually helpful. When I’m stuck on one, I have something else to work on, while ideas about the first one have a chance to percolate without being forced.

Today, I spent the first hour reading through the diary I kept when I was about fourteen. That… was not an easy thing. I have to remember to be gentle with my younger self. Everyone is unbearable at that age, and things were complicated at home. I dug out the box of my old writings several weeks ago (and should I suddenly die, someone needs to promise they’ll set a torch to the lot of it) and I read through some of that same diary then. My conscious mind didn’t find anything in there to dwell on, and I thought I put it aside with equanimity. But my subconscious was so rumpled by the experience I ended up with the worst insomnia of my life. I didn’t get a proper night’s sleep for two or three days.

I’ve been hesitant to try again, but the piece that I’m writing was stuck until I did. I’ll let you know tomorrow whether the diary had the same effect again. I’m hoping that writing about what I read in there, as I did manage to do today, will help.


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