And then I read this

Above all remember this: that magic belongs as much to the heart as to the head and everything which is done, should be done from love or joy or righteous anger.

And if we honour this principle we shall discover that our magic is much greater than all the sum of all the spells that were ever taught. Then magic is to us as flight is to the birds, because then our magic comes from the dark and dreaming heart, just as the flight of a bird comes from the heart. And we will feel the same joy in performing that magic that the bird feels as it casts itself into the void and we will know that magic is part of what man is, just as flight is part of what a bird is.

Susanna Clarke, The Ladies of Grace Adieu

Could that work for writing too? I know academic writing comes mostly from the head, but other times, writing about dragons or volcanoes, I have felt this frightening and exhilarating flight. My PhD feels old and worn and tangled, but I will straighten its lines, and ease air into its cells, and who knows what will happen next.


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