I recently received an email from a writer friend saying that she is on a diet of 1,000 words a day. This is a very respectable diet for any writer to be on and in her case I am quite certain it will be a rich and nutritious one. My own diet doesn’t bear much scrutinty. It is unpredictable and barely enough to keep the writerly body and soul alive. There are binges of notebook writing which we could compare to the pie and chips one might unwisely scoff at 2am after a night out on the tiles; there are snippets of densely poetic utterance – the petits fours that no-one really needs, they are exquisite, delicious and quite forgettable; there are worthy attempts at putting in some solid substance towards ongoing project/s (as I actually don’t know which one I want to go on with it’s a bit random), and this is the brown rice and steamed veg option – you know it’s good for you but without the right condiments and a bit of something extra it just kind of sits there, you put the leftovers in the fridge for the next day and then can’t face eating it all over again so it gets thrown out.
Then there is the meat. I was going to say that vegetarians could substitute this with a protein of their choice (I am partial to tofu, have never quite got my head around quorn), but if I am going to extend the metaphor in a way that has any meaning it really needs to be meat. It is solid, organic, with blood and bones that you can boil up to make a rich stock for soup. Well the truth is I am off meat, literally and metaphorically and if I have to eat it then I don’t want too much of the dark stuff. I lean towards the white and the sweet. But in me, and in the writing, the dark stuff is there and keeps coming. It keeps coming and it isn’t what I want on my plate.
The mater and her spouse are coming for supper tonight and I am making fish pie followed by honey and ginger poached pears with meringue.