It’s true, once you get out of a habit, it ‘s very hard to resume its rituals. It’s true for going to the gym, missing a couple of weeks attendance makes it oh so easy to believe that you will never go again, and makes that first donning of the shoes and the elderly t-shirts a hurdle apparently far too massive to scale. Failing to write blog posts for weeks, when, for nearly three years it has been a daily ritual, poses even more imagined but none the less substantial hurdles.
It’s important now to take the first faltering step back. Oddly, for a non sportif, I have found it easier to go back to the gym. Returning to the writing has proved a little more difficult. At the gym class, I just sit on the bike and do what I’m told, the loud music precludes conversation, and the untidy sweatiness of it all means I don’t even have to comb my hair first. But to publish writing requires more care and attention – proper sentences, spelling, a spot of proof reading, something to say, and the hope that it might be interesting to someone else.
Advice on creativity makes much of habit, routine and discipline; and I’ve a bookshelf lined with books telling me that, even if I’ve never managed to finish reading them all (Twyla Tharp’s ‘The Creative Habit’ being my most famous failure – far too much talk of egg white omelettes in Chapter 1 for me to be interested in getting to Chapter 2).
Bereavement made me question those old habits. I had no concentration for reading. The blog felt trivial; I looked at the list of exhibitions I’d seen in London and had nothing to say about them. Nobody would miss knowing how poor I thought the latest show at Tate Britain is, or whether or not I enjoyed Pat Barker’s Toby’s Room. Even if I did return to the blog, what is it for?
Last month I read a post addressing that issue, which suggested that asking that question was as odd as asking what a book was for. I found that a helpful thought.
So this blog continues to be what it’s always been, a place for me to write about things I fancy writing about…… and some photos.
Please bear with me while I get myself back in the groove.
In the meantime, my creative outlet has been in knitting, an activity which I have found very soothing, and at the end of which, hopefully, I will have a jumper. I’ve completed the front and the back, and am now halfway up the first sleeve. Here it is at an earlier stage. There’s a small mistake in it, from when I was distracted by the caterwauling of the Britten opera Billy Budd on the television. But like an oriental rug containing a deliberate error, as only God can create perfection, I decided to keep it.