Working as a writer means keeping to a disciplined path. It's solitary and focussed. There are some tasks that feel like climbing mountains, where you have to steady your nerve and say, "Come on. You know you can actually do this. Just begin."
There are times like today, when I've completed a massive piece of writing . . . and another piece of work has come in.
Last year when my health wasn't good, I thought I wouldn't be able to finish the one I've just completed now. I hadn't the strength. It took a lot of working on my health to be able to continue. And that's an aspect of the discipline: it isn't something people normally associate with writing, but it is all part and parcel of keeping to the path. It's ascetic in some ways; it requires simplicity of lifestyle that at times feels severe.
Then today, because I managed to finish it, I feel like celebrating — but I've made no provision for celebrating! I live so simply, I eat so simply, I don't drink, I choose solitude, I chat with no wolves . . . And there's the new work waiting to be done, plus a new project of my own slowly hatching.
This last few weeks has felt like swimming — breaststroke, strong, slow advancing through a resistant body of water. A sermon, more work on book, a magazine article, more work on book, another sermon, more work on book . . . on . . . on . . . keep going . . .
A bit beached today.