So many things affect the way that creatives work.
I don’t just worry about the way that I think. In fact, in some ways, that’s the least of my concerns. I don’t really worry about where the next idea is coming from, which is odd, because that’s often the first question that a writer is asked. “Where do you get your ideas?” is generally the question that fans and other writers who want to be published are most keen to know the answer to.
I tend to trust my mind. Let’s face it, if my mind goes, there’s a good chance I’ll be past caring.
I think about how much time I have to read, and how good or bad the next book I pick up is going to be. I worry about distractions. I worry about schedules and deadlines. I think about finding the time to do the quarterly accounts and keeping up with the work I still do for the husband.
Every so often, I worry about my surroundings or my computer. I remember when Apple changed the keyboard on its laptops, and I put off upgrading my machine for months for fear that I wouldn’t get on with the new version. I needn’t have worried; within a matter of hours, I was an evangelical convert.
I do like that physical connection, though. I like the feeling of my fingers on the keyboard. I feel like there is a direct line between my mind and the computer screen in front of me. I cannot imagine losing that physical bond. I cannot imagine speaking into a dictaphone, or even dictating to a person keying in on my behalf. I like being locked in. I like being bound. It makes me feel earthed.
There is something somehow primal about planting my backside in my chair, placing my fingers on my keyboard and my eyes on my screen, and watching the stuff in my mind appear, as if by magic, on the page in front of me.
I hope I will always be able to do this, but, today, I have taken painkillers to allow me to accomplish what, on other days I take for granted. I’m sure that whatever the problem is it will be sorted out without too much trouble, but it does make me wonder how my practice would have to change if I couldn’t do something as basic as type, and, just for a moment, I almost panicked.
I realise that I rely on a host of small habits and physical rituals to get me through my working day. I wonder how they developed and I have no idea how I’d cope without them.