In my post last month, I talked about the challenges of writing when I have a small child tearing around the house like a Tasmanian Devil on Smarties. Well, it’s not always like that. Sometimes there are days when the little man is with his grandparents and I have no other commitments to worry about. I can just sit down and write. Perfect. What follows is a breakdown of one of those days.
Wave off the boy.
Realise I’ve forgotten to put any nappies in his bag.
Arrive home after taking said nappies.
Sit down and open Word.
All that white is intimidating. I wonder if I can change it to yellow or something like that?
Google it and find out I can’t.
Write ten words, then delete them because they’re the worst ten words ever assembled and I should be thoroughly ashamed of myself.
The words aren’t flowing, so outside inspiration is needed. Switch on news.
Assume the foetal position and whisper ‘the horror, the horror.’
Try to get up but the horror still weighs me down.
Am helped out of the horror by a sense of perspective/need for a wee.
Resolve to get a thousand words done before midday.
Finally return to Word document after going online to research a slang term and ending up falling down a Wiki hole and somehow emerging on the latter years of the playing career of Glenn Hoddle.
After managing to get fifty words down, notice the postman at the door and rush out to do my daily ‘If they’re bills you can keep ’em’ bantz with him. He stares at me with what looks like unrestrained hostility but I know he’s laughing deep down.
Argue with a council employee on the phone that ‘it was raining and I didn’t want my pizza to get damp’ is a perfectly valid reason for parking on double yellows.
Pay parking fine.
Sulk about the fact that I can no longer afford that cardboard cutout of Ken Clarke for the living room.
Write twenty words that are varying degrees of terrible.
Log off Twitter after a gruelling political debate with a gentleman called ‘DeplorableCletus.’
Tut at every instance of the phrase ‘share if you agree’ until I start sounding like a rabbit.
OK, enough procrastinating. Time to get some serious work done.
I should probably check my emails.
Finish deleting Twitter notification emails from DeplorableCletus and notice he’s got the last word in. DING DING. Round two.
Google the word ‘cuck’.
Curse every man who has ever lived and ever will live.
Google ‘Is it OK to eat chicken that’s six days past its best before?’
Feel a bit peaky.
Google my symptoms and diagnose myself with dengue fever.
Stop making will when a big old burp sets me right.
Stop writing because the dog’s snoring is distracting me.
Let dog out and say, ‘Well, Baha Men, I guess we’ve answered THAT question’ to nobody.
Get that terrible song stuck in my head.
Google the Baha Men and discover they released a Greatest Hits album.
Having stared at the wall wondering what could possibly be on that album, remember I’ve left the dog outside and let him in.
Wonder if one of the other tracks on the album is called ‘Who Let the Dogs In?’
Get depressed about the fact that all the other writers I follow are attending award ceremonies and being interviewed on the telly, and I’m sitting in my lounge in Marvel Comics pyjama bottoms and an oversized Motown Records t-shirt contemplating having a third bowl of Weetabix. Or rather, Asda’s own ‘Wheat Bisks.’
Shake myself out of my funk by resolving to write the best book ever that will win all the awards and solve world hunger and make Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Mike Pence take a running leap at a passing combine harvester. The power is within me. All I have to do is get it down on the page.
Wrestling match with the dog.
Emerge battered and bruised after the dog hits a big paw to the face and pins me in the middle of the ring (living room). I place the Davis Wrestling Federation Championship belt around his waist, which he promptly shakes off and eats.
Check my Amazon sales rankings.
Wonder if it’s too early for a drink.
Have a glass of blackcurrant squash and pretend it’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Ooh, a Facebook notification!
No, Facebook, I do not want to help Auntie Beryl celebrate today. The 49p card I bought her from Dave’s Discount Card Bin will suffice.
Read back what I’ve written so far.
Google ‘can you make a living as a lighthouse keeper these days?’
Realise I’ll never get any work done unless I unplug the Internet.
Disconnect from next door’s WiFi.
Realise I need some background music to keep me focused and fire up Spotify.
Why isn’t it working?
Discover that for Spotify to work you need Internet and fume about so-called modern technology being terrible.
Dig out old vinyl.
Find out the only record that isn’t scratched to hell is ‘the Best of Barry Manilow’ from Mum’s collection.
Stick it on anyway.
Get bored and switch the speed up on the turntable so he sounds like a soppy chipmunk.
Sing ‘Mandy’ in a high-pitched voice until the miserable old sod next door hammers on the wall with a broom.
Wife texts to say she’s leaving work.
Sit down and frantically write. Don’t bother going back to correct spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. That can weight.
As the hysteria sets in, murmur, ‘This is fine. This is good’ to myself.
Wife arrives home from work and asks how the writing has gone. ‘Brilliant,’ I reply.
More daft stuff I get up to when I should be writing can be found on my YouTube channel.