Doorways is new series for the new year - every day for the month of January I will be practicing life writing here on the blog. That means posts will be about life, which may or may not include writing about books. This is a writing project, a challenge to myself to start off 2017 by focusing on my creative life.
There's something so hopeful about winter sunshine. January needs hope, especially this year - and I don't think I'm the only one feeling this way. London doesn't enjoy very much crisp, wintery sunshine. It's hard to explain to someone in London why winter is my favourite time of year because of this. But when I think of my favourite winter days, I think of waking up to a blindingly bright morning, sunlight reflecting off a quiet, perfectly white coat of snow. Or I think of driving along the lake by my parents' house, the water a frosted blue and the landscape's seeming solemnity in its stillness.
Today London's winter sun is streaming into the cafe I'm writing in - I purposefully chose the cafe with a skylight for precisely this reason (also for the cinnamon buns). Instead of a peaceful hopefulness the sun is shining down a warm nostalgia. Everything about London these days is making me feel nostalgic. It's funny how a place can accumulate feelings over time. I'm used to the nostalgia of my childhood home - the memories of snowy mornings and frosty drives around the lake are perfect examples. Feeling nostalgic for London as it's still my home is one of those things that reminds me why I'm a writer. There are hundreds of memorable moments dispersed across this city, and even more everyday moments from my life. Going through the motions of my daily routine, I'm so often in autopilot but sometimes - like today - I slow down and let myself indulge in the memories of this place as I brush past.
Maybe it's the winter sun making me a bit too nostalgic.
This writing project is quite an experiment...how do memoirists and other people who write about their lives avoid sounding overly sappy and emotional? That's a goal for this month - write more close life observations, less general feelings.
Also, my old schedule is still in place. Top Ten Tuesdays will be back next week, my 'Currently' updates, still figuring out what Friday posts will be but I like keeping 3 days a week to a specific format so stay tuned to see the new Friday posts.