Monday, 4 October 2010

How (not) to write a book

1. Click on 'Favourites' and then 'Bank Account' and try to work out how come you've spent nearly a hundred quid in Sainsbury's since you last went, which was only two days ago. Surely there's baked beans and crap in the freezer you should be eating before replenishing your stocks? Didnt' you listen to ANYTHING your mother told you?!
And how come you seem to be spending more on Amazon books P&P than you would do if you actually drove your car into town, parked and bought the damned things from Waterstones?

2. Click on 'Favourites' and then 'Facebook' and realise you have less of a life than that Donna girl in Cheam who's always playing *Bedraggled* or whatever the hell it's called. And how come Neil in Croydon, who's Janice's ex's best mate's cousin from Northampton is friends with Pauline from Surrey and more to the point how come you know more about your daughter's life from her wall-to-wall with her mates than you do by actually speaking to her.  Face-to-Face.  Like.

3.  Click on 'Favourites' followed by 'Twitter'  and watch threads of people having 140-character-long (or less) snappy, conversations with each other and 4 or 5 other 'others' and wonder how come their lives seem so jolly and bright and fun compared with yours, and how come even though you *think* you've got a great retort, that the minute you've typed it into the 'reply' box, checked for typos, grammar, punctuation and entertainment value, somebody else has beaten you to it or they're now talking... sorry, *Tweeting* about something completely different.

4.  Make tea.
5....  oh go on then, help yourself to a slice of cake as well.  You deserve it after the exhaustion of trying to keep up with the Twitter threads.

6. Click on 'Documents' followed by 'ideas' and then wonder how, at 1,500 words you ever thought there was *truly* a book in that hair-brained lunacy of an opener.  Seriously, if you stuff too much into the chicken's neck too soon, isn't it all going to end up coming out of it's arse?

7. Open another file in the 'ideas' folder and marvel at the humour, intellect and biting social satire of the words that you now sit back, arms folded in smug repose, reading.  My God, but you were on FIRE when you wrote that - so where's it going?  How's it going to unfold?  Where's the spark gone?  Write another sentence.

8.  Delete it.

9.  Undo delete.

10. Repeat until there's a small bald area of scalp on your head and you have no fingernails.

11. Repeat 4.

12. In fact, just repeat.

13. Until you have absolutely no idea what made you think you could ever write anything worth reading - EVER.  (apart from that document in 'ideas' that you're masochistically drawn to time and time again).


p.s. d'you think this is what's commonly termed "Writer's Block"?
p.p.s. Roll on 1st November and the Na-No-Wri-Mo-Lax!


The Pineapple Tart said...

I like No.6

Lane said...

Ha. So familiar. Do you think we should just get rid of all our 'favourites'?


Debs Riccio said...

Thanks Anne, and Lane. Maybe 'favourites' should be re-named 'procrastination tools'. I stupidly sometimes worry I may "miss something" when I'm in my own little world, so keep the little buggers on minimised, which I shan't be doing in November... much. Maybe.

jc said...

All those people out there tweeting and Fbing think they are writing but they're really scrivelling, a word I just made up that combines scribbling and drivel. So if you don't tweet or Fb you will have time and inspiration in abundance to write.

Well that's my theory.


ps: tea and drugs often help!