NOTEBOOK: THREE MONTHS TODAY
Three months ago, on 19 May, I followed my psychologist’s suggestion and my own nagging inclination, and started keeping a regular writing notebook/journal/habit thingy. I sat down one afternoon in a café in Subiaco (rain pounding down outside) and wrote a short piece about an artwork that had just sold in New York for a stunning amount of money. Said artwork seeming to capture the madness of our times.
Since that day, and that modest beginning, I have written every single day, often in great volumes, even on weekends. In sheer wordage I’ve produced around 170,000 words in these three months, tangled up in a completed memoir volume, and a novel that is about two-thirds done, plus a wide assortment of notebook pieces and blog posts like this one.
I’ve written while sitting on the couch at home, while lazing about in bed early in the morning and very late at night. Also in the car while queuing for coffee at a drive-through place. In various cafés, like the one I’m at today (Viazza, at Greenwood Shopping Centre, where the iced coffee is excellent).
I’ve published 99% of what I’ve written online, on a website, and on Facebook and on Twitter. Some pieces have received a lot of response, and some have gone unnoticed. No trolls have shown up. I’ve learned a lot about working online and web publishing. The guiding ethos has always been that I’m a writer in a department store window, sitting at a desk with a typewriter, only you can see everything I produce, all my drafts, the lot. As a writer, you get taught that nobody wants to see your “shitty first drafts”, and probably you don’t, but I’m putting them up anyway, because why not? It’s radical transparency. This is how the sausage gets made. This is what drafts look like. Some bits are good, and some bits are bad. You get to see it all. I’m not aware of any other writer doing this–and it does occur to me that there might be sensible reasons why that is! 😉
My psychologist suggested I take up writing again as part of an effort to write my way back to being well after what happened to me last year, and the long years of depression before that. After these three months, I don’t know if I’ve “arrived” at the bus-stop of wellness just yet, but I think I’m definitely on the bus that goes by there. I hope you’re following along.