Sometimes writing is a struggle, while on other happy occasions it feels like the words are tumbling out of my ears, and I have to rush to a computer or a pad to get them down, paragraph after paragraph, page after page, before they fall from my mind and vanish entirely. But what both situations have in common, I’ve realised, is a similar wonderful sense to falling asleep (which I love, and am – if I say so myself – extremely good at).
It means I can’t be aware of doing it, that my mind must be distracted from the task at hand. If I start thinking, OK, I’m writing, what am I writing? Why am I typing this word here? Look at me, writing writing writing la la la, then I’m lost; paralysed. But if I can do something like the flying trick in Hitch Hikers, yanking my mind away or gently asking it to look in the other direction, then everything goes swimmingly.
Just so I don’t either a) sound like I’m delusional about my skills (Oh, the words just fall out!) or b) give ammunition for anyone who isn’t a fan (Yeah, I bet you fucking wrote it without thinking) I will say that the editing process is like hard physical labour (only still sitting on the sofa with soothing jazz in the background), making me genuinely sweat and ache and gnash my teeth, dahhhhling. That’s the hard grafting of the foundations I’ve laid down by getting the words on the page.
So if you fancy writing something and you’ve not managed yet, that’s my Writing Tip of the Day. Just get something, anything down, and don’t worry about the quality or the direction. Just get something to shape. Good luck.
Tomorrow’s tip: An all-Haribo diet.