Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Writer's schlock

Writing is a hard slog. I might write I don't know 14 words at a time before I need to get up, make a cup of tea, check the internet is still there, scratch my balls, maybe write five or six more words, check the internet is still still there, go and look at myself in the bathroom for a while, get a glass of water and a sandwich, then read the 20 words I've written for a bit and then go out, after checking that the internet is still there. It's a slog, certainly, roughly equivalent to dragging a pool of honey across Arizona. It's as easy and forthcoming as stapling your fingers to the table, or trying to peel paint off the wall. When I do write it's normally fine, the words come out fairly easily and that, but it's just that I don't actually write very much, and it's punctuated with constant stoppages of practically no value, a consequence of my having the discipline of a very tired elastic band.

I have probably had no discipline for writing since I left school or thereabouts, and became obsessed with the idea that life should be about enjoyment and not forcing yourself to do things, that thou should do what thou wilt and all that, even if doing what thou wilt amounts to watching the telly for sixteen hours a day or, more likely nowadays, trawling the far reaches of the internet like an astronomer looking for signs of intelligent life. In a novel by Aleister Crowley, where apparently the do what thou wilt thing comes from, a rich heroin addict discovers that his calling is to be an engineer, but he only discovers that after doing what thou wilt a lot has enabled him to forget what he thinks he is supposed to do and find what it is that he is truly called to do. Which is fine and all, but I found what I am truly called to do fucking years ago, and it's not going to pay the bills. Also, most of us have probably had the experience of being totally immersed in something we really love doing, but yet soon find that the reality of trying to get do that thing in the real world, for a living, has little to do with what we like about it, and more to do with how we can best position ourselves in the marketplace to take advantage of prevailing conditions, and all that jazz. So I'm not so keen on do what thou wilt any more, although it has given me some magnificent afternoons watching Jerry Springer in the pub in years gone by.

The upshot of this is that I'm trying to write a book, because that is my attempt to turn something I wilt, ie writing, or at least being a writer, if not actually physically writing stuff, into something else I wilt, which is having some money at some point in the next 40 years. (Yes I know that this is unlikely, even if I produce an opus, but bear with me.) So this book, it's very short, and not particularly long, there aren't many words and it doesn't make any sense, but it's a cracking read probably, and brilliant and I think you should buy it now, in advance of publication, to guarantee you a copy before the rush gets going, obviously if I wasn't to actually produce it I would probably have to say something about a refund but that's cool, my guess is that you are the sort of gracious person who doesn't feel the need to demand refunds for undelivered produce, or maybe think that asking for money is undignified, or are just happy it has gone to a good home. I realise that I have now descended into writing begging letters on my own blog, which can't be a good sign, but anything to keep from knuckling down and writing my book.