Pavlovian practice for writers

“You fail only if you stop writing.”   – Ray Bradbury


Pavlovian practice for writers

So out of practice

With the practice

Of daily pages

It would be simpler

To move the mountains

Separating my village and

The Mediterranean


The first three

Clumsily, scribbled pages

Meditation in self-persecution

Words appear in slow motion

Impaired by intracranial cobwebs,

Dust and perhaps atrophy

What is not used…


Week two, still breathing

Ego damage continues

But flagellating ceases

Chocolate covered expresso beans

A placebo or positive reinforcement

Pavlovian conditioning

Am I really ready for this?


Week three, breathing more steadily

Ego still receiving casualties

Cobwebs and dust eliminated

Synapse healing slowly

Positive reinforcement continues

Who doesn’t love chocolate and expresso?

Outlook improving…




Author: Léa

A wanderer who has found home and herself in the South of France.

28 thoughts on “Pavlovian practice for writers”

  1. Writing generates writing…..but you know that, and it looks like you’re keeping your head above water. And speaking of water, when it comes to coffee beans, as they say in my country: whatever floats your boat!

    1. I know that one well. I have a PHD in California coffee houses 🙂 I did a lot of poetry readings there before moving to France.
      BTW, and you probably know this, coffee is a basic food group (at least for writers and other artists I know) x

  2. Don’t think I could survive without it. Once, when I awoke in ICU after serious surgery, I asked for coffee…. the nurse consulted the surgeon and though they frowned upon it, they saw the tears in my eyes ( I knew I had come through, and coffee would seal the deal), they allowed me a half cup!

    1. Bless them! It was a wise decision. 🙂

      I hope you are all well now and never have to go through anything like that again. x

  3. so are you writing a novel or something? heck… i think that is a big project indeed … wow… wishing you luck and bite and patience and lots of Chocolate covered expresso beans… smiles

    1. I am working on my two blogs but also two chapbooks. However, you are right, I have begun (barely) the first novel… smiles

  4. Sounds like that wonderful roller coaster Lea the one of life and all it has to offer us when writing, I might be on the same one myself. We may pass each other going the opposite way and still meet up somewhere at the end.

  5. Fantastic poem! The more I write the more I feel like writing. When I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing it’s hard to get back into the creative flow again! Chocolate and espresso can cure almost anything. . . 😀 xx

    1. Thank you Becka. Writing does lead to more writing and when we get out of our routine, sometimes it can be most difficult to re-disipline ourselves.
      You do understand that both Chocolate and expresso are basic food groups? 😉

      1. Of course they are! I get my 5 a day from chocolate alone – milk, white, dark, etc. . . 😉 xx

      2. Becka, it is good to hear you are taking care of yourself! 🙂 However, as you must know, white chocolate is not actually chocolate as there is no cacao in it. For moi, the darker the better. 🙂 Also, you do realise that café is another basic food group… 😉 xx

      3. Haha! It is dark chocolate all the way for me – my nan has some every day and swears that is why she is still here at 95 years old! Hmm I wasn’t aware of the cafe food group, think I will have to do some research in that area. . . 😉 xx

      4. Absolutely! Dark Chocolate, Red Wine, Café are three of the basic five… 🙂
        My great aunt was over 101 when she passed a few years ago. She loved her chocolate, café and her shot of whisky each night! 😉 xx

      5. Ah can’t beat a shot of whisky to get you going in the morning!! 😉 A straw in a bottle of wine is the adult version of a Capri Sun! xx

      6. She saved her Jack Daniels for evening.Her grandson wrote to Jack Daniels before her 100th birthday and told them about her. For her birthday the company sent her a fancy certificate and a voucher for a gallon of whiskey. I think it lasted her for the last year and that includes guests. She was a treasure.
        As for a straw in a bottle of wine, I am too old fashioned and prefer my vin rouge in a proper glass and hate straws! 🙂

      7. That was a lovely thing to do for her! I bet she was made up with that 🙂 ah I was brought up with straws! The youth of today 😉 xx

      8. I would tell you my theory on straws but not in print :)) xx
        Irene was an amazing lady. She raised six children alone when her young husband died during the depression. You will never find anyone with a kinder heart. 🙂 xxx

      9. She sounds like an extraordinary lady, what she did was no easy feat. We can always learn a lot from our elders 🙂 xx

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