Thursday, August 19, 2010

Writing Skills

From time to time people (and it happened this week) ask me how I have time to write this stuff. I never really understand the question because it is my experience that we all find time for things we really like. How do you find time, for instance, never to miss East Enders, go to every Bristol City game (or the inclination) or read two novels a week? I know people who do these things. They find the time.

Secondly, how long do you think it takes? The ability to touch type and a mind full of pointless waffle attached to the loose ability to construct a vaguely readable sentence in largely recognisable English (this one is a bad example) is all you need. The cojones to feel that people will want to read what you write is a bonus.

The third thing, and it doesn't really apply to this blog but to other writing assignments, I read in Charlie Brooker's (he of Screen Wipe fame) Guardian column this week. You need a deadline. I don't particularly like work but, if cornered like a rat in a trap, will, if absolutely necessary, come up with the minimum required. So, when I was actually working as a freelance for four years I found the fact that people would pay me if I delivered stuff by a certain date a wonderful motivator.

It still works for the odd freelance task I take on and the blog-eponymous book comes out next year.

Brooker suggests that those wishing to finish say, a chapter of a novel, should set themselves a date and ask a good friend to guarantee that they will come round and administer a kicking in the previously mentioned if the deadline is not met. There's probably a female equivalent, confiscate the cakes perhaps, but finding it out would involve research and there are no women around to ask here tonight. Which is also why the house smells of curry and football.

So, how to write stuff, knocked off in twenty minutes before bed over a glass of wine. No need to kick me and for you the beauty is that this advice comes free. Unless you wanted to make a donation. Try The Trinity project. It's had most of my money so it may as well get yours.

My suggested donation for being generally amusing and entertaining over the years is a fiver for the Trinity Project.

Night night.


Anonymous said...

What's the suggested donation level for mildly interesting?

RuthJ said...

Interesting equation of women and a passion for cake. I would have said cake-hogging was about equally divided across the gender range, but maybe I know an atypical sample. Or maybe that was just flagrant sex-stereotyping. Offered a curry or a cake, I would unhesitatingly choose the former.