As Peter Cook once observed. “Everybody has a book inside them. Luckily that’s where most of them stay”. The thought that as a avid reader of novels you are qualified or even able to write one is either based on blind arrogance about your own ability or a wilful ignorance of the issues and complexity of actually writing the dammed thing.
Yet here I am having handed in my notice at work preparing to embark on such a process. Is this merely a new year fad like abstinence from alcohol or that gym membership that finds itself increasingly unused from February onwards or will I actually find that the creative process itself is something I crave and that has been missing from my life. In my more lucid moments I suspect that the actual novel will merely end up in a state of perpetual unfinishedness or just cluttering up the self publishing websites that now cater for the aspiring/deluded JK Rowling’s of this world. But what the hell, if crap like 50 Shades can make it why not me…..Actually that’s pretty hard to argue against as it is crap on almost every level but it did make EL Grey a shedload of money, so kudos, and please can I follow in her footsteps along with the thousands that use her as an example and or excuse for not doing a proper job anymore.
So this blog will be an outlet to the process and frustrations that I encounter whether it be issues of plot, characterisation, world building, writers block, sheer naked fear and even the dreaded creative writing courses – oh yes I have succumbed to the new year lure of signing up with other hopeful/desperate souls eager to learn the secret truth about writing and how to do it proper.
Do I actually have an idea? Well yes actually I do. Have I got the plot and characters all sorted errr well mostly. Has it got a title? The working one is “The Differences”. Do I have any prior experience? Well I have written two pantomimes and adapted/re-written over a dozen. I have dabbled in sketch writing and during my so-called career written a lot of PR and technical literature, so sort of but not really. Have I actually written a word of it? Oh yes he said smugly a pristine 6.5k worlds that I gaze upon with the fondness and love only a father can for his new-born. Have I dared tell anybody else? A few select people know, my partner who reads more books in a month than most people do in a year my kids who say (in the same breath) “Well done go for it…are you completely mad?” The response is usually the same, a sort of bemused encouragement occasionally tinged with a hint of jealousy, not that I am writing, but that I have given up work to do it. Why am I doing it? Well when you have a mother only twenty years older than you with vascular dementia and your better half lost both parents in the space of eight weeks it does rather crystalize the fact that we only have one shot at this life and you are more likely to regret the things you didn’t do than the things you did.
So to finish this first post I will just explain the title of this blog. It refers to an insult a colleague at work was once on the receiving end of. “You are like a lighthouse in a desert….brilliant but fucking useless!” Let’s hope that only the first half of that is true eh.