Tuesday, 25 November 2008

tick tock

I always thought I needed time to be a writer. You now, endless afternoons, with endless cups of coffee to gently coax my writing out of hiding.

I really don't.

I'm rubbish when I have a lot of time. Endless time means endless ways to put things off. Far better is to snatch 10 minutes here or there and start writing before I have time to worry about it. Often the first page is not good, but I kind of warm up into it. I don't let myself faff on with it all. 

The only drawback with this is that I'm doing it all longhand, and I do actually need some time to type it up/edit. This is where more hours in the day would definitely come in handy. Especially because I seem to have lots of new ideas percolating away, but until I actually make a start on one of them, they're a bit pointless. One of my many bad writing habits is to plan an entire play/novel/film trilogy in my head, decide it's brilliant and not actually write a single word of it down on paper.

So I'm trying to avoid that. 

Monday, 17 November 2008

still tired

I watched 15 minutes of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here tonight, and it felt like many, many brain cells died in the process.

Day at a conference today. Climate change. Fascinating stuff, and I feel fully up to speed on the relative merits of carbon trading etc, but by the time it got to the bit about the new eco-process for cleaning jet engines (or something) creativity seemed a long way off. 

More of the same tomorrow. It's going to be a long week. And probably without much writing. 

Some things I keep meaning to blog about and not getting round to:

The Czech play I went to see.
Why exactly I can't explain what my play is about to anyone I know. 

Tch. Next time. 

Thursday, 13 November 2008


The effort of getting my play finished, or at least in a fit state to be read, has almost done me in. In an ideal world, I'd take a few weeks to relax, spend some time hanging out in coffee bars reading papers and generally replenish my writing mojo. 

In reality, my day job just got ludicrously busy and I have another imminent deadline which requires me to both write and attempt to be funny. I submitted a comedy script for a competition thing and it's getting put on next year (along with lots of others.) Which is totally brilliant except I now have to write more of it. Aaargh. 

I don't know if being busy helps or hinders creativity. I think it's worked both ways round. Sometimes being busy gets my brain going and sparking off ideas like neurons or one of those things I'd know about if I understood science. Other times, like now, I have the intellectual sharpness of a cabbage and following a Hollyoaks plotline is a challenge, let alone writing finely-crafted dialogue that will induce gales of laughter.

Anyway, the above is the last few drops of writing energy for the day trickling out. So I'd best stop. 

My play, by the way, is called bedhead. Maybe I'll write more about titles when I have a brain again. 

Monday, 10 November 2008


I accidentally went to a yoga class tonight. I say accidentally. I was in the gym. I did intend to go to a class. But I thought I was going to a pilates class. I was standing there, in tree pose (honestly), and I was feeling quite disgruntled. This isn't pilates, I thought. Maybe the instructor hoodwinked the gym by saying she was a pilates instructor, when all along she was a yoga instructor and couldn't be arsed to even make it look a bit different. I'm going to have words, I thought. This is not the advertised class. I'm going to - get this - tell on her. 

And it wasn't, of course, because I'd gone into the wrong room, being new to this gym as I am. Two thoughts struck me at this point.

1. Oh bugger. I really wanted to try the pilates.
2. Oh bugger, I'm turning into some kind of north London liberal chattering classes type, who not only goes to pilates, but also has strong opinions on the relative merits of aforementioned exercise system versus yoga, and is prepared to report the instructor for deviance from said system. Not only am I now officially middle-class, which is bad enough, I'm middle-class and unpleasantly officious to boot.

I should have known. It's not without precendent. I had a minor strop a few months back because I tried to buy quinoa and they only had cous cous. I've been in denial ever since. This is AWFUL.

Anyway, I finished my play today. Well. Not exactly finished, but got it to a stage somewhere between first draft and finished. To a point where I could submit it for a competition, which I did, cabbing it across London in my lunch break because as per flipping usual I left it till the last last last last minute.

Having spent the last week or so re-reading and re-drafting, I'm now at a point where I'm thoroughly sick of my bloody play and don't intend to even look at it for several weeks. (I know I'll only spot all the disastrous typos too late). Still no further on the pithy explanation of what it's all about, but I do at least have a title, which is... 

No. That can wait till next time. 
(Suspense, you see. Told you I was a writer...)

Monday, 3 November 2008

On my travels...

So, I was on my hols last week. I took my notebook in case of any writing opportunities, a tad optimistically as it turned out. I didn't scribe a single bon mot all week. Not even a mal mot. 

To be fair, it was a city break to New York, so not the most conducive for reflection and writing. I thought I might be inspired by the place and the pace and the excitement of it all, but it didn't happen.  

Take last Thursday. Sipping on a glass of wine, looking out over the people rushing past through Grand Central Station. With the beautiful ceiling, and the US flag hanging obtrusively, as if you could forget where you were. This is the kind of scene you should feel inspired by, isn't it?  No. Not me anyhow. These were my musings - not written down, and you'll see why in a moment. 

Central Station. 
Look at all those people. 
They must have, like, so many stories. 
This is like... a metaphor for something.
The American Dream? 
Is everything in America a metaphor for the American dream?
I wonder how much I should tip the waitress. 

So it turns out I'm probably not writing some amazing scene set in Grand Central Station. Ah well.