Work begins. I do not sit down but wander about the room. I think on my feet, while I wash up a cup, tidy a drawer, drink a cup of tea, but my mind is not on these activities. I find myself in the chair by the machine. I write a sentence… will it stand? But never mind, look at it later, just get on with it, get the flow started.
This business of the physical as a road into concentration: you see painters doing it. They wander about the studio, apparently at random. They clean a brush. They throw away another. They prepare a canvas, but you see their minds elsewhere. They stand for a long time in front of the canvas, the brush on the alert in their hands. At last, it begins: the work.
But nowhere in it is there the truth of the process of writing. I fall back on that useful word ‚wool-gathering’. And this goes on when you are shopping, cooking, anything. You are reading but find the book has lowered itself: you are wool-gathering. The creative dark. Incommunicable.
[…] writers need peace, quiet, need to be left alone, not expected to be public people.
Doris Lessing, „Walking in the Shade”