Once upon a time, I was a very good moodler. Yes, I remember those days with great fondness…dropping my boy at school, driving over to the local mall and doing four or five laps around, stopping at Einstein’s for a bagel and coffee, dropping into the Barnes and Noble and perusing the new releases or talking with Karen, the manager about what was hot in the book world. Two or three days each week, I might spend a few hours at the high school, playing for choir, eating lunch with my friend Pat and the year’s “select students” who were allowed to join us in her office. After Brian started driving, and then moved away, I had even more time for moodling, and I took great advantage of it. I created a “room of my own,” with a specially selected chair that was “just right” (Goldilocks style) and whiled away a good portion of each day curled up in it, reading or listening to music – maybe even napping.
That’s the way I remember my mooding days anyway, although it’s quite possible that the passage of time has tinted my memory a bit rose colored. Somehow, I really believe I moved more slowly through life than I do now, for now it seems I’m forever rushing and hurrying, and consquently I’m perpetually tired and worn out.
What does this have to do with writing?
Way back in 1938, Brenda Ueland wrote If You Want to Write, where she coined the term “moodling” and advised every writer it was important to allow time for your mind to wander, your imagination to drift, so that ideas could gestate in your brain. People are to quick to “will” themselves to do things – to push through life accomplishing a long list of things on some imposed agenda.
I wonder what she would say if she could see us now?
Occasionally these days, I’m able to spend a morning “moodling” – walking the dogs at the park, then tooling over to First Cup where I grab a coffee and sit on their new patio with my book. It isn’t that I’m consciously thinking about writing during that time, but I’m often surprised to have ideas pop into my head on the way home, or even just neat phrases or descriptions that I try to remember, so I can jot them down somewhere.
I definitely feel that I move through life too fast these days. My greatest desire (other than world peace and a stable economy) is to find more moodling time.
Then I think I’d be feelin’ groovy.
Read more about moodling here.