On Sunday I'll be travelling down to Nottingham to fence in the British Universities Individual Sabre. It's become a little more individual than I was originally intending, since neither of Hull's other specialist sabreurs can make it. I shouldn't feel nervous about such a minor open (I think it rates something ludicrously low on the BFA's 'difficulty multiplier' for ranking points) but somehow I'm managing it. Maybe it's just that this year is my last chance to do this one, and also the first time I'll have made it down there. Needless to say, with the individuals for all three weapons contested over the weekend, training has cranked up a gear, as everyone tries to get into competition mode.
It's weird, that divide between a competition approach and a normal one, and it's something I think applies to many other things, including writing. How we write when we're trying to produce an important piece of work is different from how we write for things that don't matter, or for exercises. But should that be the case? The japanese sword master Miyamoto Musashi pointed out that, when fighting with a sword, training with a sword, or just going about your life, your mindset shouldn't change too much. If the pen is truly mightier than the sword (fired out of some sort of catapult perhaps) maybe that applies to the writing too.