I always remember the children’s writer Jan Mark on an Arvon Foundation
course reminding us to ‘make a daily appointment with your desk.’ Some days we
might feel stuck and frustrated and barely able to write a paragraph, but the
appointment is a kind of act of faith that the next day the ideas will flow.
There is also movement.
I’m always struck by the connections between writing and moving, never
more so than those days when I sit at my desk and dream, and very little work is
produced. Even the simple act of getting up to make tea might enable some
connection to be made so I can speed on for a while when I return to the desk.
But the strangest thing is that after I’ve stopped writing for the day
and I’m out walking out in the fields, the ideas, images, and particularly the
voices of my characters are guaranteed to flood in so powerfully it’s as if a
film is playing in my head. Then I wish there were some kind of recording
mechanism in the mind. I often think I’ll remember, only to find I don’t quite
get it as it was in that glorious moment and I need a notebook to
scribble the words as fast as they flow.
I love the way one activity enables freedom in another – the way
narrative seems to have its own momentum long after I’ve stopped trying – the
unconscious connection between movement and imagination.
Tricia Durdey dances, writes, and teaches Pilates.