I have just put on my Writing Cardigan. I don't really have writing fetishes - I can write anywhere, any time. I like to have coffee, but it's not essential. In the past I've written daily while the potatoes or pasta boil for dinner. I've written a whole scene in a cafe in the half hour before an appointment with a funeral director. I've dictated dialogue into my phone in the middle of the woods. But I do love my Writing Cardigan. It's old, bobbly, purple and growing new holes every year, and it brings me great comfort and warmth on this slightly autumnal late August morning.
It tells me that I am settling in for the long haul, and that I'm not going to leave the house today.
It reminds me that I love writing, and inside my head is a good place to be, even if it's messy and tangled sometimes, and the work is difficult and I may have to try many, many different ways of writing some of this book to make it the best it can be. I'm happy here, and lucky to have my Purple Cardigan, and this work.
I put my Purple Cardigan on today because I'm deep into a big rewrite of my novel. I'm stripping out a major plot element that was right at the time, and now it isn't. The book's going to be massively better off without it
When I look at the manuscript on which I've marked all the changes to make, I'm fine. Every post-it marks a cut, a change, or a scene to write and it's a lot, but it's amazing that I have this chance to make my book even better, knowing that in a year it will be published, and I'm so glad to be separating out the wheat from the chaff.
If you've ever done that for real - separating wheat from its chaff - you'll know that it's really satisfying. It's also ridiculously time consuming if you do it grain by grain, by hand, which is what I'm doing in my novel right now.
But I'm writing every day - from breakfast till lunch - and that's amazing after so many years of cramming it into the edges of my life.
Putting on my Purple Cardigan is a signifier to myself that I'm lucky, and deeply happy to be taking the time I need to do this work.