Enjoy the walk

Today, I realised that I’ve spent six months writing the wrong book. Or at least writing what I thought someone else might want. I’d forgotten why, several years ago, I began to look for a new language in which to talk about people’s experience of art, in the various explorations I called Regular Marvels. Instead, I’ve drifted back into the kind of academic language that’s always covering its back.

No wonder it’s been hard work – and I apologise to everyone who’s asked me how it’s going recently and got only complaints. No wonder I feel like Sisyphus pushing words uphill only to see them tumble down again. I know that books which aren’t enjoyable to write are rarely enjoyable to read, but I wasn’t listening. There’s no fool etc.…

The book’s due in three months’ time (I hate deadlines) and I’m sitting amidst hundreds of pieces that don’t add up to anything because they’re made for the wrong book. But at least I know it now. So: back out of this dead end and set off in another direction. And this time, enjoy the walk.

The book I should be writing is the book that only I can write. Time to get cracking.


  1. I’m really looking forward to reading ‘the book only you can write’!

    Yesterday, one of the ladies in my art group told me firmly that the problem for artists is to produce something that no-one else has ever done before. I agreed and, having the sense that this seemed an impossible task to her, pointed out that because each person is unique, no two people could produce exactly the same thing even if they are colouring in.

    As an artist, I know it certainly is a challenge to be true to oneself. Buddhism also teaches that the ability to perceive each person’s unique qualities (including our own) is essential to achieve harmonious and creative relationships and genuine self confidence.

    My greatest pride and joy is when the participants in my art group show increased confidence in their own unique abilities and demonstrate their enjoyment of their sense of inclusion and belonging in the group (and therefore their community).

    Art and creativity is SO important and so undervalued in our economy driven society. I wish you all the best with writing about this very important topic!
    And now I’ll shut up and get back to my work so you can do yours!

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  2. Thanks so much for this encouragement. As I was thinking and writing this admission, I remembered how often I’ve told people that I’m working with to relax and be themselves. I realised some years ago that the advice I gave others was usually what I should be listening to myself. I’ve always preferred the idea of originality to that of innovation because we can all be original, in the sense of being the unique person we are. Originality doesn’t have to involve extraordinary genius, though it can of course: it’s enough to be oneself.

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