Roald Dahl called himself a disciplined writer, writing every day from a small hut at the bottom of his garden. He sat in his mother’s old armchair, rested his feet on an old leather trunk, slid his legs into a sleeping bag, propped a felt-covered board across the arms of the chair and with paper and pencil, he would write a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the afternoon. He said that’s all a writer could write in a day, or he became ineffective.
And yes, I was listening to NPR when they featured Dahl Thursday.
The British novelist had his sanctuary and his routine – children’s classics Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory spun from his mind, inside his hut, within his routine.
With that in mind, it’s time to write. I have not had a routine, I certainly don’t have a sanctuary (I write this while sharing a couch with Miles – coughing and watching The Cat in the Hat Sunday morning) and have been far from disciplined. Deadlines discipline me. The daily rendition of The Saratoga Special for six weeks every summer brings out my best. Beyond that, it’s the deep blue sea of toil and distraction.
This week, I’ll write. Good or bad, I’ll write.
I might write about the pigeons at Aqueduct, Saturday’s fox hunt, Valdez’s victory, Hear The Word’s debacle, the Colonial Cup, the jockey’s race between Paddy Young and Darren Nagle, Eighttofasttocatch’s third consecutive Jennings, John Velazquez’s long road back…
Now, where’s my hut?