How does a writer refuel? How does a writer rest? Is there ever a time when I am not writing, not thinking of a project in progress, or what I will work on next? These are questions I have asked myself for years because I much prefer writing and working to resting, or what passes for resting in my lexicon. As you can imagine, the languorous post-holiday days are a challenge. Two days after Christmas, a week when most people are allegedly resting, and here I am at the computer writing this blog, getting up early to swim or work out, jotting in my jotting journal about a film I saw last night ("Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"--outstanding) and enjoying all of it. In fact, I never relinquish the routine or discipline of the artist/writer. Never. Is it possible, therefore, that I am resting as I write? I think the answer must be yes as I carry my moleskin everywhere every day no matter where I am going and what I am doing. I am always writing something down, even if it is just a list of observations and disparate thoughts. Thus does my mind clear--and rest. Thus am I able to refuel. And I read a lot; reading and contemplation, walking and meditation. It's all necessary for me.
And I wander in museums and book stores, yes, real book stores. And I even buy some paper books when I begin to miss the sensory experience of holding a book, flipping back and forth, inhaling the often subtle aroma of the paper and ink. I bought two this week: Julian Barnes "The Sense of an Ending," and Erik Larson, "The Devil in the White City." I got half-way through the Barnes and gave it to friend who is a Barnes fan. I thought to myself, and wrote in my moleskin, that it was fascinating to be inside the male protagonist's brain, but also boring. And why did this book get the Man Booker prize? I have no idea. As for the Larson, recommended by many people, it is my first Larson, a page turner, an inspiration. Already I am thinking that I'd like to get back to a nonfiction project. But what will it be? I have no idea just now. Having just finished two books, I'm supposed to be resting.