I love writing. But it can be a terrible distraction from other minor essentials. Eating, for example. Washing up. Even making tea. The last teabag sat in an empty cup for almost an hour before I remembered it was there. I had to boil the kettle again. Now I’ve left the same teabag in water and come back to get this down while it’s fresh in my mind. The tea will probably be undrinkable by the time I remember it’s there.
The trouble is, I get too involved. It’s the same with reading. With life, really. Once a story grabs me I’m more or less incapable of thinking about anything else. Multi-tasking goes out of the window. I eat, sleep and breathe story. And that’s not very practical most of the time. I have to tear myself away to go to work. Go shopping. Go to bed. Even go to the loo. Then I lose the thread. I think that’s why I find it so hard to finish anything. Reality gets in the way.
And all the best ideas come to me when there’s no way I can write them down. Three in the morning. I can’t even hold a pen at that hour. Halfway across the M32 flyover. In the market hall in Ikea. I defy anyone to write a coherent sentence there. Many years ago I bought an old-fashioned dictaphone, complete with cassettes. I thought I’d record thoughts as I went along. Genius. The trouble was, I was far too embarrassed to use it. I’m not sure it ever got out of the box.
All this frustration comes from a positive. I’ve started to write properly today. Something other than this blog. Three hundred and thirty four words of something. I’m comfortably over my 500 words for today already. I have a story taking shape, and I may well continue working on it well beyond my allotted 500 words. For the curious, the story includes the words ‘gossamer’ and ‘marmalade’, but that’s all I’m saying on the subject for the time being.
Now, before I rescue that cup of tea, I need to remind myself why I’m putting myself through all this. I’m giving up ‘not being a writer’ for 125 days (or maybe for life …) in support of One25’s work with street sex workers in Bristol. Please feel free to encourage me and to support this amazing bunch of people by sharing this blog, or by donating at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=JeanMutch Thank you.