Writing isn’t the hard part of writing, at least not for me. The hard part of writing is the thinking. It’s also the fun part. It’s what gets me up in the morning. Ideas are our bread and butter, our mother’s milk, our rest and play, and the reason for everything.
I begin to wonder whether I shouldn’t treat thinking as an entirely separate discipline.
I have always done my thinking while performing all those mundane, everyday tasks that need to be done. I think while I’m washing dishes or hanging out the washing. I think while I’m tidying a room or vacuuming.
Last year I spent three entire weeks thinking while I cleaned out our new house. It was bliss. It gave me uninterrupted time to process all the garbage that had been building in my mind over a long period of time. I felt reborn at the end of it.
I think where I feel safe. I do most of my thinking stationary, in one safe place, behind closed doors and preferably on my own.
A duvet day is as likely to result from me needing to regroup mentally as it is to result from a migraine or a belly ache.
I take it for granted. I’ve always been a thinker, and I’ve always been a bit of an isolationist. Maybe, but probably not exclusively, that is why I am a writer. I hope that it will one day make me a successful writer.
I always thought that the husband and I were quite different, but actually, I think we’re rather the same.
He isolates too, but in an entirely different way.
It’s like our desks. The husband works in a dedicated room full to the brim with stuff; every wall is covered in art, every shelf is heavy with books and objects. His desk, too, is home to any number of things that stimulate his mind and get the cogs turning. My desk is empty, but for the essentials, and, instead of facing into the room, as does the husband’s, my desk faces out onto an empty yard. I like a blank slate, a clean canvas, and no visual distractions.
When I need to think I do it in the most familiar of places, when the husband needs to think, he surrounds himself with a moving landscape, with strangers, and with sights and sounds, and all things unfamiliar.
Maybe that’s why we’re still happy together, because he leaves me alone to think, and I’m happy for him to go away to get the stimulus that he needs.
We all have our processes, and, to my very great relief, mine and the husband’s do seem to dovetail together rather neatly.
What can I say?
Vive la difference!
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