Thursday, 9 May 2013
Evidence that watching laughing baby videos is an integral part of a writer's day
I was the runner-up in a competition recently with this short piece about 'A Day in a Writer's Life'. I thought you'd enjoy it, especially if, like me, you tell people you are 'writing' when you are really watching gymnastic cats and laughing babies on Youtube.
9 January 2013
Woke up from a dream. Was dressed in a lime green ski suit and running through a dark tunnel with my Granny and a cousin from Australia. Granny was yelling out lines from ‘Macbeth’ and breathing fire. There was a tsunami. Wrote plotline in my ‘From Dream to Bestseller’ notebook and forced myself out of bed to make tea. Was determined to get at least three chapters written today.
NB: Confucius say: ‘Lady who take tea back to bed is not writing lady, but snoring lady.’
Sat at my computer, staring at a blank screen and a reflection of me in the screen, staring at a blank screen. Wondered whether the kitchen floor needed scrubbing. Wrote a scene in which a woman cleans her kitchen floor and dreams of life on a Greek island with Tom Conti. Thought it would fit well into my novel except that a) mine’s a crime novel set in rural Ireland; b) I would have to research Greece and research is so tedious; c) it was someone else’s story.
Made a sandwich and ate it while writing so I could tell Stewart I had a working lunch. One thing led to another. Those cat videos on Youtube are hilarious! And the laughing babies!
It’s surprising how long you can make a cheese and pickle sandwich and toffee yogurt last.
While having coffee, I read an article in a writing magazine about keeping a Writer’s To-Do List. While having another coffee, and nine Bourbons, I wrote a to-do list of writing goals. Then found, in the same notebook, a to-do list I’d written six months ago and forgotten about. Compared old and new. They were the same, though I did buy the printer cartridge.
Discovered that my main character, Daisy, had brown eyes in Chapter 1, green eyes in Chapter 3, and in Chapter 9, one brown and one green. Chapter 9 must have been my ‘idiosyncrasy’ phase. By Chapter 14, both eyes were brown again. Did a ‘Find and Replace’ to change them all back to brown, but it did strange things to my descriptions of Ireland’s rural landscapes. Aarrggh!
Started logging off so I could cook dinner. Then Stewart texted to say he’d be late and not to worry about dinner until at least 7. ‘Carry on writing,’ he said. Wondered whether to start on another chapter.
Watched ‘Pointless’. Then browsed BBC News website for news stories to inspire fiction. Apparently Ian Rankin does this too. Felt like a bona fide member of the writing community. Made shepherd’s pie.
Stewart said he wanted to watch Die Hard 2 and, as it wasn’t my kind of film, he didn’t mind if I went up to the study to write.
Climbed into bed to write this. Die Hard 2’s better than I remembered.