Friday, April 25, 2008

I looked after George on Thursday during the day. I think I’m getting better at it because I actually managed to do some things around the house rather than just looking after him! – Lisa got home early and we went to see her new flat (looks good) – then she went out for the evening with some other new mothers!

finishing the book
I finished the book today – or at least the initial version. There are bound to be changes and a few bits to add, but it’s great to get it off my list of current projects for the moment.

The section I left until last was the introduction… it’s much easier to write the intro to something once you’ve done the rest of it – by then you ought to have some idea of what it’s about.

It took a while though because I couldn’t work out what I was trying to say… or maybe it was just because I somehow felt more precious about the last section I wrote – as though the whole book hinged on it – which of course it doesn’t.

When writing’s difficult like that, you just have to work your way through it – get down at least something that’s roughly right – after all, you can change it later, and you’ll have a much better idea of what you need to change once you do.

I sometimes hear other writers talk about writer’s block. I’m not sure I take it too seriously. I think it’s a luxury you only allow yourself if you don’t have a deadline. How many writers on daily newspapers fail to deliver copy because they’re not feeling inspired? Not many… and certainly not twice.

Yes, everybody has bad days and everyone has times when they don’t deliver their best work, but I think it’s a bit self indulgent to simply grind to a halt for days or weeks at a time…

After all – most of the time, when you read back the work you’ve struggled over, it’s just as good as and sometimes better than the work you do when things just flow.

When you find writing difficult, it can be for a few different reasons. Sometimes it’s because you’re worried about the work and just need to get over it. Sometimes it’s because you’re thinking about other things and just need to focus. And sometimes it’s because writing just IS difficult – it requires you to solve problems and work out exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it – in which case, whether you do it now or in six months time, you have to buckle down and solve those probems.

You don’t get to be a writer by talking about writing. You only get to be a writer by writing. When it’s easy. When it’s hard. And when you’re on a deadline, hung over or just bored sick of it.

More pics
Nature got in contact again today – looks like just as I got ahead of myself by completing the book, I’ve got another tight deadline looming….

Still, that’s for next week.

For now, Lisa, George and I are taking a break – we’ve booked into a hotel in Reading and as a big luxury, we’ve got a babysitter to come to the hotel room and look after George on Saturday night.

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