Writer’s blog.

Writer’s blog.

September 25th, 2010 // 12:26 pm @ // No Comments yet

Hello there. Today I find myself in the awkward position of again having to apologise for the recent lack of activity on thatandywhiteblog. I’m sorry. I really am. The terrible truth though is that I seem to have been hit by the curse/convenient excuse of all writers since the dawn of time, ‘writer’s block’. I know, I know, it all sounds a bit precious doesn’t it? Like sitting here being a Manchester copywriter and trotting out some inconsequential nonsense now and again was some kind of big artistic dilemma but it’s true. Sometimes it’s a bit tricky. Or, in the words of Run DMC, ‘it’s tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s right on time, it’s tricky, huh huh huh, it’s tricky, tricky, tricky, tricky.’ See? Even the big names of Old School Rap recognise that it’s not always easy. In fact, going back to that ‘dawn of time’ thing, I feel sure that on occasion you’d see prehistoric man gazing at his cave wall, sharpened stone in hand, thinking, ‘Bloody hell. I’ve done triceratops and velociraptor. I’ve done the bit with Dave and that wheel thing, what now? I should’ve stuck with hunting. Jesus, even gathering’s not a bad gig compared with this’. So, in a bid to get myself started, I did a bit of reading. A bit of studying to see what proper writers do to get round this big wall thing. And it’s interesting to see that they’ve all done it. Anna Quidlin, ( she’s a writer. Memoirs of a Geisha, Running with Scissors.  No I didn’t either. The Film? Oh yes, ), said, “People have writer’s block not because they can’t write, but because they despair of writing eloquently.” Fair point, well made Anna. Stephen King, ( Yes. Well we all have haven’t we? Oh about a trillion I think ), came up with this really clever metaphor to describe the process as he sees it, “If we think of ourselves as labourers, as craftsmen, it’s easier to sit down and write. We’re just putting words on the page, after all, one beside another, as a bricklayer puts down bricks. At the end of the day, we’re just creating things — stories, poems, or plays — only we use vocabulary and grammar instead of bricks and mortar.” Now that’s all well and good isn’t it? But be careful how far you take these things. I’d got really, really into it, right up to the point where I wrote a really nice extension onto the back of the house. It was lovely. Big sunroom, office, utility area, family bathroom and sundeck. Probably put about 20k onto the value and everything. Then, when the plumber arrived to do the pipework for the utility area, he had to explain to me the fundamental flaw in my thinking. Turns out that the whole thing was just, in fact, a fairly abstract concept. While he appreciated the literary value of the project and even pointed out that he found some of my grammatical flourishes quite enchanting he had to firmly state that, as an actual building or indeed as any form of acceptable reality, the whole thing lacked any real substance. So I say to you, Stephen King, get a bloody grip man. That’s about three days of my life I’ll never get back. Another handy tip was to ‘examine your working space. Find a place you’d look forward to being in and try writing there. Maybe a coffee shop or similar’. Naturally, I gave that a go. And I’m here to tell you that, no matter how attractive the idea of an opium den may be, it’s really hard to get anything done after the first day and a half. I’m sure I wrote a few things while I was there but when I came round in that alley, could I find any of it? Not a chance. Not only that but I still have no idea where my shoes are and I’m completely at a loss to explain why I’d have a tattoo there or indeed what it says. I’m not even all that keen on dragons. However, the one that really resonated with me was to just start writing whatever comes into your head and put it down on paper or, in my case, just get typing something and unleash it into the ether. Apparently it doesn’t even matter if it’s any good. The whole point is to just bang it out and move on. And with that in mind. See you later.

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