As I slowly progress through these exercises I realise that I should do a bit of reading. I’ve taken into account Alan Bennett’s Writing Home and Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary but truthfully speaking I’m not sure I want to. I’ve tried writing journals before, indeed I spent three months faithfully doing Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and, while I found some of the exercises cathartic, my morning pages were nothing more than an account of my life’s woes. I stopped doing them.
I’ve recently read Dorothea Brande’s Becoming A Writer; a concise book that’s small enough to read in a day but big on advice in the art of making it as a writer. It seems there is no getting away from the fact that writing first thing in the morning is beneficial to our creative process. She after all, pioneered this form of writing and others followed in her footsteps.
I’ve therefore decided to try again and write first thing. Freewriting, I think it’s called. I have one notebook for everything. It’s just easier for me to have everything in one place rather than different books for different things. I do carry a small notebook around with me in my bag, everything I’ve read on writing says that it is a must to jot down things that one stumbles across whether it be a person of interest, a quote one hears or things one sees. I’m sorry to say that this notebook is fairly empty. I’m just not that organised.
As I get nearer to my first poetry exercise I’m slightly concerned that the notes I have made so far have no significance to anything poetic. My highlighter and red pen is at the ready, I’m aware of my assonance and alliteration, oh, and I must remember: show don’t tell. As for my reading, I guess I could give The Journal of Katherine Mansfield a go.