On writing

Had to giggle. John Cleese has been instructed by his ever hopeful but now desperate publishers to either deliver ‘the book’ within a month or return some £350 000 he was paid up front. I visualise him now, sitting in front of his computer, bottle of scotch at elbow, tearing out whatever hair remains. He has my sympathy – book writing is not for sissies. Hopefully he has enough cash remaining to employ a very quick ghost writer.

Ever since I was a kid I have had the urge to write. On buses, under the blanket by torch light, after lights out at boarding school and later, during prep time, nose down, making like I was studying for exams. Hundreds of scraps of paper, the embryo of endless fantasies, short stories, letters to the editor, but never anything as ambitious as a novel. And thank God for that. It takes very little to distract me. All those fragments of short lived inspiration gone with the wind. And probably just as well.

I have been paid for writing but, thank the Lord, never in advance. Hundreds, if not thousands of tedious press releases – everything from ‘Recipe of the Week’ to ‘Garden Recliners and Loungers’ – nothing too cerebral, you understand. I actually wasn’t a bad advertising copy writer as it happens. I, apparently, once won an award, but only heard about it by accident. Had long since departed the agency. And so it goes.

So, presumably, I am not really a writer.

Notwithstanding. I am working on my novel. Every bloody day (almost). But only if I can find absolutely nothing else to do.

daisy mop

I would rather mop floors than write.

Seeya 🙂

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11 Responses to On writing

  1. colonialist says:

    That’s great! I hope I get to edit it for you – I owe it to you while I am still not succeeding getting the other project properly off the ground! It frustrates me enormously.
    Oh, for an advance like that!

  2. I’ve only thought about writing a novel. That large sum of money would be a great incentive though. I wonder if he’s spent it all by now? He did used to be really funny.

  3. Haha. Funny. Yup I got paid for writing press releases too, although mine were public sector ones (HM government and NHS). And. Got paid as a journalist too. It’s quite odd seeing all these people desperate to be writers and get their name in print when I had mine every day of the week, all over the place. It’s why I like being roughseas, it’s a welcome change.

    Have to say I need a tidy environment when I need to write/work. While total squalor and chaos never normally matters, as soon as I sit down to work, every speck of dust distracts.

    I’ll counter Col’s offer with the incentive of payment in Euros 😀

    Why don’t you offer to ghost Cleese’s book?

  4. footsy2 says:

    Would rather eat razor blades than write right now. Muse has gone awol. 🙂

  5. cocoaupnorth says:

    Hope you get your muse back. I love your writing, and it would be lovely to read your novel:)

  6. Dear Footsy,
    I hear you loud and clear. I think it was Hemingway who said writing is easy–you sit at your typewriter and open a vein. I just cleaned my house thoroughly too, and now I MUST finish that novel…after I do some fall cleanup in the garden.
    Best wishes for the New Year, and for your writing project!

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