I have written before about the difference between mood and desire. Our moods are changing all the time, and we frequently turn to them to ask what we should do next: Do I want pizza or sweet and sour chicken? Should I go for a walk or read a book? It is best to line up with one’s mood whenever possible, much as a sailor tacks his boat with the changing wind. But the wind can only blow above the water. The current of desire runs far below the surface. The current of desire changes very little over time and runs perpetually in the same direction. The job of the writer is to seek that current when she sits at her desk.
I am never in the mood to write. I begin writing my books at around 6:30 AM. At 6:30 AM I am in the mood for coffee. So I take my coffee and sit at my desk and wait. As I wait, I allow my attention to sink below the surface my daily life, below the surface where all my moods and worries rage, the surface where I find thoughts of politics, of money, of success.
And if I allow my attention to leave the surface fully, by and by I discover that current of desire and I find that I am writing. I admit that there are day when I wonder if this current is still running. There are days when I am trying so hard to sail Somewhere, trying so hard to master the sea, that I am reluctant to dive into the water, wondering, in a way, if I will disappear from Life As It Is.
Yet every time I allow my attention to sink to the level of my desire, I am rewarded. I am rewarded not just with words on the page, nor just the reminder that my current is still running and will always run, but with the understanding that life is actually lived below the surface. All the wind and crashing waves, all those tides and storms that seem to threaten me and my fragile world, are as shallow and harmless as a pond. The ocean is deep, and my current has always carried me where I need to go.
If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual and group conferencing.
You can find Bill at: williamkenower.com