On Reading And Writing


I awake with eyes still closed and my mind already running lists of what has been done, what must be done today, and what can wait until tomorrow or next week. I fight the noise by keeping my eyes shut, however that ineffectually increases the volume of my mind's clatter.

A mind too active is no mind at all, writes Julia Cameron in her book titled, 'The Artist's Way'. The primary tool in recovering one's creative self is what she terms morning pages, which I adopted as my daily ramblings. Whilst these wordy junkets are helping to unravel the jumbled mass of incoherent thoughts swimming in my mind, which then allow me to continue my day less dishevelled, reading is creating order and flow.

Turning to classic period novels - some, I am rereading and many more, for the first time - has initiated a momentum for daily reading. They transport me to a different time and place, which I am very much drawn to and where it seems I would feel right at home.

Travelling between centuries from one book to the other, as I am also gripped by Robert Macfarlane's vivid writings of his voyages, there are not enough hours in the day to read as much as I wish, or enough space in my handbag for both 'Vanity Fair' and my kindle. I cannot read quickly enough to satisfy my urgent curiosity to learn what will become of W.M. Thackeray's Miss Rebecca Sharp and Miss Amelia Sedley. My eagerness and impatience want to open the next chosen classic, 'Madame Bovary' - a French period novel, except for the constraint of twenty-four hours hardly balanced between the To Do's and To See's; the pleasure of reading and this therapeutic arduous exercise of writing.

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