Ebbs and flows in writing output

28 07 2014

You’ll have noticed the clever name of my blog site. “Writer’s Blog”. It’s a pun you see, a play on words. Writer’s Blog = Writer’s Block. (I know you know this but in case one or two people missed it thought I would spell it out – it’s not a great pun, not a classic)

It’s funny though. (not the pun, obviously!). It’s funny that since I started blogging last year I have mentioned writer’s block only once. In passing. In a blog about something else.


I do believe in it. Can’t deny it. Sometimes a story just doesn’t want to come, a character seems to suddenly not have the capability, the capacity, to escape from the situation they have got themselves into. How do they get out of the locked cellar, get away from the man with the big chopper and black balaclava? They don’t have the skills and suddenly giving them a Houdini backstory without at least a couple of signposts earlier on will stretch reader credibility. More importantly, it will stretch the picture you carry in your head of your hero/heroine.

They have to be real.

But that’s for another blog. For now I give you my solution to writer’s block. It’s not advice, self help, guidance counselling. It’s just what I do.

I open my mouth and speak aloud and tell, just TELL, my subconscious to get on with it and find a solution. I tell it three times. Think about it hard for a minute or two to reinforce the need.

And so a write something else, read a paper, cut the grass. Anything!

If it is only a minor problem I might carry on with other aspects of the story but if it’s a biggie I’ll just let my mind get on with it and eventually I will stop chewing mid-muffin and know the solution.

I suppose this isn’t pure writer’s block when nothing will come out but that has only happened once and that REALLY is “a HH Coventry revelation” for another day.

I’m so vain, I bet I think that shelf is about me!

26 06 2014

Is it vain? Is it a sin to be proud of your achievements? I go to friends’ houses and see proud displays of the children’s degree certificates, sporting trophies, awful daubs and I wonder if my shelf is viewed as self-promotion, self-obsession or just natural. Should a grown man be proud enough of his achievements to dedicate a shelf or two of a prominent bookcase to his own output?

I don’t think it’s so bad. I am proud and it’s not a sin. Nor is it a ‘vanity bookshelf’ as one journalist once cuttingly called it. I am what I am and what I am is just a writer. I don’t do sport (unless wobbling across Surrey hills trying not to fall over when I can’t loosen the cleats counts), I don’t paint, and education was a long time ago. I write and haven’t done at all badly at it.
I don’t have pictures glad-handing the PM or a B-list celeb on the wall. That puts me one up on some vain sods in my view!

PS Apologies (and credit) to Carly Simon for the title and to Jerry Herman for the steal half way through.

IT issues – doomsday or just a bit tedious?

16 09 2013

Too many commentators rant on about IT being either the bane of existence or the salvation, the rapture, the cure-all. I fall squarely in the middle. You, dear reader, may have noticed an absence of recent blogs. It is no fault of WordPress, no fault of my mobile or broadband provider or web hoster. I will put the blame on the water company and the regularly dug-up streets of my town.

 Yes, we all now know that Victorian sewers are a drag but please, please, please just dig THEM up and not the cables running near them!

 So – did the world end? Did the Millennium Bug come out of hiding and sink its fangs into my quivering heart? No. I just couldn’t email or use t’interweb. Freed up a heck of a lot of time for writing and thinking and even – shock-of-all-shocks – reading!

 I went to a library. Big, old, British. You know the one. Amazing how much stuff isn’t available on-line. Simply amazing! (sarcasm alert)

 Admittedly things slowed up a bit when I got the green router lights again. Lots of emails to read, reviews to peruse etc. But did I mind, did I moan? I did to the water people, obviously, but in my heart I quite liked the change!