Whatever you do, write something every day, even though most of it turns out to be terrible. And it will be terrible, yes, quite terrible indeed. Maybe there will be a small insight somewhere, a sentence or thought, which could be polished into something which isn’t terrible. But even this might be nothing more than wishful thinking. Which is a great song.
Some writers give this as advice to other writers, at least the first part of the first sentence in the first paragraph. So I abide. For the first five minutes when I get to work, as I wait for my in-box to load, when I get home from work, when I’m on a crowded tube train. Sometimes there is something there, other times it’s like watching paint dry in the shape of words. I’ve never actually watched paint dry, but if I would have it would probably be just as fruitful. Meaning there will be no fruit at all.
When there’s nothing the only thing left are words refusing to organise themselves into meaning, into something that says something. Writing something doesn’t necessarily mean that you are saying something, just like sending an email doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve communicated anything. Words are not enough, something needs to be there, in-between them.
But where does there come from?
Probably from a place where you don’t yet feel comfortable, where there is darkness, guilt, regret and other emotions that make up the foundation of any drama. A place you hesitate to go even by yourself. But when you do go, perhaps just before you go to bed, you realize it’s all there, a wave of potential meaning where your words can swim as they please. But then there are other people, and there is yourself, and it’s no longer clear who or what you’re trying to protect. But it’s something, something not ready for everyday writing.
Then your in-box loads and you’re off into another day at the office, far away from the foundation of drama.