A Writer’s Notebook V
There’s a sentence in my notebook which says: Mind and imagination are crippled by notion, conviction and opinion.
Sounds like a quote but it came to me one night while I was sleeping. I woke with the words in my head. They weren’t quite arranged in that way when I first heard them. I wrestled for a while, like one might wrestle with the opening stanza of a poem, until I was satisfied they said what they were supposed to say. Then I went down to my desk and wrote them in my notebook.
They’ve been there for perhaps a year.
By this stage of the game I don’t worry about happenings like this. Somehow I’m involved in a process of developing a text. I don’t know what the text is about. It’ll be a novel, in all probability, because that’s what I do; write novels. I suppose there’s an outside chance it might be a short story or a poem or even an essay. But I believe it will be a novel.
I hear things people say; I read surprising passages in other people’s books; I see a shadow in a film; think a thought; I wake with words in my head, and all of these things go into the notebook. Many of them seem unrelated, but I know that they are related, only I’m blind to these relationships at this stage of the process.
Slowly, over time, as I dispense with my notions, convictions and opinions and open myself to language and experience and memory, my mind and imagination will stir and rumble and I will begin to make signs on a page and all that is now hidden, as if behind a veil, will come tumbling forth.