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Island Life, Word Birds & Process.

A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf is a book that accompanies me. By that I mean, it’s a companion. I don’t take it with me when I go shopping, but I don’t stay away from home overnight without it. My copy is heavily annotated (in pencil) & I return to it over & again. This morning, I opened it randomly, at Wednesday, November 14th, 1934.

* ‘A note: despair at the badness of the book: can’t think how I could ever write such stuff – and with such excitement: that’s yesterday: today I think it good again. A note, by way of advising other Virginias with other books that this is the way of the thing: up and down – and Lord knows the truth.’

The passage is underlined & the word ‘Rewriting‘ written in the margin. This writer has been here before, methinks [knows]!

I’m indulging myself in a moment of angst. Even though I have it all – blocked in & laying the foundations (in some instances, the detail) for the final chapters – I’m still beating myself up over this story. I oscillate between ‘the badness‘ & ‘thinking it good again‘ like a wildly out of control lighthouse beam. (To the Lighthouse? Some puns have no sensitivity whatsoever…)

woolff      woolf diary

Mrs Woolf said this too: ‘My head is a hive of words that won’t settle.’

Hives & lighthouses, bees & beams. Whatever, it’s all absolutely in my head.

Onward & sideways.

 

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