How does a writer begin each day? Some start writing as soon as they wake. Some write at night. Some start with emails, twitter, facebook– I start my writing day with chess.
As soon as I get to my table, I look at my online chess games and make one move in each of them. During the day, if I am stuck in my writing, I make a few more moves. Most of these are somewhat routine, though they help to focus the mind. Once in a way, I suddenly see a brilliant combination. And that is when the mind makes a leap from its normal level, and becomes different–fresh and sharp.
I have heard the same thing happens to mountaineers, and perhaps to people playing other sports. I think that is the ‘unconditioned mind’, the ‘freedom from the known’, that J Krishnamurti talks about. Applying this to writing, it implies something new. Not the loss of all influences, but based on those, a new insight, a new thought, a new approach.
Perhaps scientists, mathematicians, poets and musicians reach this state more often than prose writers. I can imagine Coleridge’s mind when he wrote Xanadu, or Mozart’s when he composed The Magic Flute, or so many other poets and composers.