I moved back to my hometown last April. Well, sort of, because I didn’t have a home until November and hadn’t decided to stay until October. I lived the Spring at my dad’s place while he was travelling, in the Summer I lived in my own cabin on our family’s island in the archipelago. In the Autumn I moved back to my dad’s and then to my mum’s for a month (a very long month…).
The flat I’m living in now was built in 1868 and the windows are most likely originals. It gets chilly inside while the temperature drops outside. And it’s been -15°C for a few days now.
While I roved about, most of my belongings were in boxes in a storehouse. Including my tea. When I packed up, I threw away a lot of tea. Most of it was disgusting stuff I’d got from a family member or other(at some point in my 20s they stopped buying me books and started buying me tea – now they’ve stopped that too), or something I’d forgotten at the back of my two tea cupboards and had lost it’s flavour years ago.
The rest of it I unpacked here in my new flat and decided I wouldn’t buy new tea until I’d drunk this lot. I picked a black tea and poured it into a metal container and used it for my morning tea until it ran out. Then I picked another one.
This morning the container was empty once more and it was such joy to pour a fragrant red Keemun into it. I made a pot and am enjoying it against the chill.
A little bit of bliss.
Yes, I know there was this big day of celebration for the year 2016 to be over and the day after when one should be lying in bed, dozing off the champagne and all the booze. And the day after that, the horrifying realisation that 2016 was only the day before yesterday and nothing’s changed and nothing will change before one actually does something oneself. But it is not this hangover I’m talking about.
My troubles with writing are various and flock around me whenever I’m writing. I don’t believe in myself enough, I don’t trust myself enough, I start to trust myself too much and then it all winds down like a balloon filled with helium that only stays up a few days.
However,one of the contributing factors to this through my writing history has been that when I get writing, I forget all else. I just sit at my desk or wherever and write and write and write until I finally return to full consciousness exhausted and hungry and cold and needing to pee. What I’ve realised is that after these intense sessions which leave me drained, sometimes for days, I don’t feel so much like writing. The joy of creating is there, but the physical feeling follows me further.
Yesterday I downloaded an app to time my breaks. I even came across one which makes concentrating a game. Every time I concentrate, the app grows a tree, so I’m growing a virtual forest as I work. This appeals to me, might even make it more likely for me to work (one gains achievements for consecutive days).
But the main thing is that after working for several hours with tiny breaks here and there, I was not exhausted for the rest of the day, I enjoyed the evening and even read late into the night. Though my mind was a bit over excited compared to normal, I was able to sleep and got up refreshed this morning without any reluctance to sit down again and work today.
Maybe taking breaks is something that every rational creator understand but it took me a while to get here. I think it might be the fear of losing ‘the flow’ while hydrating or warming oneself. It might also be the image I’ve had of my creative work as a sort of intense burst of energy. An irrational image to which I’ve clung because of past behaviour.
Well, I’m going to try and grow my little forest today and see where it takes me.