Wednesday, 27 August 2008

The Mitfords - Letters Between Six Sisters

I’ve just finished reading ‘The Mitfords.’ Usually I can read a book within a week but this mammoth one took nearly two months – without any other book on the sidelines to distract me. I loved reading about each of the sisters. Every sentence is worthy as a mantra or quote. But this one seems to fit the writing life:

“Books. The thing is not to do it, writing I mean. ANYTHING to put off beginning: telephone, take the dogs out, read yet another ridiculous mag, and then when one has begun it’s lovely and v. difficult to stop. Do you find that? I can’t do anything unless I’ve got all the things to do it with just right, paper and soft B pencils sharpened which they soon aren’t because of the softth. I wish I could type, one could see what it looks like instead of waiting on someone else to do it a little bit wrong…. There have been so many distractions lately that I’ve done 0, well nearly 0. Hopeless.”

Deborah, 6th September 1987.

I feel like I have been using my dissertation (writing project) as an excuse for not doing writing. Even though I am writing two chapters (plus interludes) for the project and an essay, I just can’t seem to sit down and write anything else. There’s a wall and on that wall is graffiti telling me that I must do my project first and then normal service can resume. Less than two weeks away and then I can write the novel at my own pace, dab in the short stories again and also explore flash fiction. They have been my holiday from the project over the summer. – I’m restraint because at the end of writing the chapters there is a huge ugly essay to be written about the writing process. It makes my skin crawl.

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