about writing and life and God

Rituals, routines and simple explanations

on January 7, 2013

Digital Image


The cat, so photogenically posed, yellow eyes flashing, is the upstairs cat, Bella. And she’s enthroned on one of the many cushions on top of… are those filing baskets? On the spare bed?

How weird.

Or not, if you, like me, have certain rituals or routines you follow before you can really launch into a project.

I need a cleared desk and a tidy room before I can concentrate on my work. So, when the deadline for the book under contract loomed close enough to cause discomfort (another word for panic?), it was clearly time for girding of the loins. Which means tidying my writing room before I can sit down and get to serious writing.

And that meant moving rather a lot of paper.

I confess I am not good at filing. Stuff comes in, gets looked at, thought about briefly, whatever needs dealt with is dealt with – and then it lands on the side table. In a rapidly mounting pile, kept from toppling over by some sort of tray or basket. It’s amazing just how much paper comes in over a week, or two, or three… From time to time, I have a blitz and sort it all out, file it all away and promise that from now on I’ll file daily.

I fail. And it mounts up again.

That is why the picture shows more than one filing tray. One gets filled, then it’s time to start another one…

I’m quite good at draconian. Clean sweeps. So those trays littering my writing room had to be out of sight to be out of mind before I could start work. I wasn’t expecting any visitors over Christmas, so I thought – well why not? The spare bed wasn’t going to be used for anything else.  So I set the filing trays in neat rows on the bed.

Then my husband asked for something currently stored in the small cupboard in that room and to get at the boxes, I had to remove the cushions stuffed down the sides and on top. In a hurry. So I tossed the cushions… on the bed, on top of the filing trays. Where cat, who likes to survey her domain from a good vantage point, took up position.

You see, there’s always a simple explanation.

I don’t think I’m unique in having a building-up-to-it routine. And I don’t think it’s a one-last-try at distraction, at putting off the point of commitment. It’s more like an easing-into-it. The shower before the plunge into the swimming pool. The warm-up. So you’re there, already wet and shivering – or slightly sweaty in the tracksuit. You’d feel an idiot backing out now, so… before you know it, you’ve passed the point of no return. The fingers are on the keyboard and the miracle is happening again…. words on that empty screen.

Amazing, really.


2 responses to “Rituals, routines and simple explanations

  1. My human is exactly the same! Unorganised with the filing and nearing a clean desk to be able to concentrate! You are funny creatures! I think Bella looks lovely! =^.^=

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