Friday, February 2, 2007

Writing. (And doodling)

Writing's an odd job. I love it and yet at times I detest it. I think writing non-fiction is pretty much a problem-solving exercise: all of the information is already there, you just need to find the right way to put it together. In my more self-confident moments I think I'm a pretty good problem solver. I think fiction writing involves a different skill altogether. You have to set the puzzle as well as solve it. Which is a ridiculous thing to do... how would you go about solving your own crossword? It would be so simple as to be no fun at all.

Unlike most jobs, I find the less I've achieved in a day, the harder I feel I've worked. It's a much more mentally exhausting day if I spend it staring at a blank screen and racking my brains and only come away with a couple of hundred words added. Rattling off a couple of thousand words is nowhere near as taxing. You just can't choose what kind of writing day you're going to have. It depends how hard the problem is.

I think maybe I should join the cry to have Big Brother taken from our screens. Not because it offends me (although parts of it do) but because it distracts me. Throughout the duration of the series just gone I have struggled to write. I don't think I ever went to bed feeling satisfied with my day's work and I've started most mornings by trashing much of what I'd done the day before. But now the series is done and dusted things have started to flow again. Was it Big Brother's fault? Was I so upset by scenes of possible racism and certain bullying that I was somehow rendered less able to concentrate on the task in hand? Or is the timing just a coincidence? I honestly don't know. But I'm glad this isn't a World Cup year or this book would never get done.

Oh, by the way, you probably don't know it but later this month it will be National Doodle Day. It's a fund raising shebang for Epilepsy Action and I've supported the event along with a host of other people - many of whom are actually celebrities. The doodles will all be auctioned on eBay and you can vote for your favourite doodle too. You can see mine and find out more,here.

I noticed yesterday that Christopher Timothy is no longer starring in the BBC daytime soap, Doctors. Presumably he was struck off when they realised he was a vet and not a doctor. At last.�

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