Flipping to a random page on The Artist's Way Every Day: A Year of Creative Living, this bunch of beautiful words dropped on my lap:
We often make the mistake of thinking that we "have" to be in the "right" mood to write. The truth is, any mood can be used for writing. Any mood is a good writing mood. The trick is to simply enter whatever mood like a room and sit down and write from there.
I adore that analogy of entering the mood like a room and simply sitting down and write. I'm a spatial-visual kind of person, and this image really helped to build up a mental world for a concept of "showing up". Having wrote here on 200wad for 200++ days, I know showing up. But now Julia Cameron (the author) had given me a mental palace in which I can show up to.
It's really a room. A room decorated by whatever mood I happen to be in. On good days, it's a room with high loft ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows - airy, full of light, expansive. By the window, a huge rectangular pinewood table, a comfortable chair, a pot of indoor plant. The table looks out to lush green jungle, but comfortably shielded in the cool air-conditioned space of the room. On the table, just my laptop and a cup of coffee. Nothing else in the room. Words fly out of my hands on the keyboard. I feel like I can write forever.
On bad days, the room is actually a cave. Dark, damp, eerie. I don't know how far deep the cave goes. Shadows fleeting about. Dark presences lurk. I'm huddled on against the cave wall, near the entrance. Watching rain fall outside. I'm writing with sticks on the soil. Each word, just scraping by...... barely. When will this ordeal end, I ask? Sometimes the wind or the rain comes in, and my words on the soil gets muddied and destroyed. I try again.
I love how the author said it. Whatever room it is, just sit down and write from there. It's almost like meditation on equanimity. Or the practice of acceptance, stoicism. Like that poem "The Guest House" by Rumi, where being human is like a guest house, and we have to welcome them all - good thoughts and bad. "Because each has been sent as a guide from beyond."
So true. If our moods are guides from beyond, then writing from whatever it is, we give it voice, we transcribe the truths they bring.
And dark caves turn to airy rooms.