Norman Hadley - My Writing Routine

My Writing Routine

Think of me as an anti-Woolf - there’s no “room of one's own” for me. There’s no time for quiet, withdrawn reflection. Here is my horological balance sheet; a hundred and ten waking hours in any given week, half of them allocated to the day job. In the meantime, I have people; people close to me. Not unreasonably, they expect company.

So I adapt - I squeeze writing into life's interstices. I furtively scribble on the backs of cereal boxes at the breakfast table. I've taught myself to write legibly on my hand in the dark as I wait for sleep; mornings are spent deciphering the Rosetta Stone of my skin. Once, I woke to find I'd been sleeping hand to face, leaving mirror-writing worthy of da Vinci himself. Last week, an idea surfaced while I was digging the garden. Kneeling in the soil, pebble in hand, I frantically scratched notes on a pottery shard like some prehistoric loon-bard.

But I wouldn’t want it any other way.  ‘Writing life’ and ‘life life’ should be inextricably intertwined, shouldn’t they? Too much detachment opens the door to those twin spectres, cynicism and romanticism. That’s what I think, anyway. It has to be in the moment. But the ground's approaching quickly now, so I’d better stuff this back in my pocket and pull the rip-cord. Otherwise, this will not end well.



Poems by Norman Hadley

Further reflections on writing: by Philip Burton and by Norman Warwick


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